Charming Confusion

Charming Confusion

Curated by Guan Wei
Featured artist Guan Wei Jin Sha Tim Johnson Yang Xifa Louise Zhang

There are two common aesthetic responses when contemplating a work of art. Firstly the grace and beauty of the work can induce a feeling of quietness and calm that sets us apart from our surroundings. Secondly a great work can invoke a connection to the sublime, a link to what we perceive to be greatness, an ability to shake our heart and soul. This experience sometimes can be painful, but can elevate us to another plane.

Another response, which is called in German reizende has been translated as a charming confusion. It is our reaction when we are completely attracted to an image or an object. We are drawn into and are willingly disoriented by the work, and are transported unknowingly to a new world. Works which invoke a charming confusion appeal directly to our intellect through our senses and our feelings. Art can change our understanding and appreciation of beauty in the world.

Tim Johnson’s work combines images inspired by Oriental mysticism and especially Tibetan Thangka art, with other images drawn from dot maps in Australian Aboriginal art. Although seemingly chaotic, the works have a spiritual orderliness.

Louise Zhang is a generation Y female artist with a new perspective. She is primarily concerned with personal experience and memory. Her abstract works use resin to portray color, and light and shadow and convey fond memories and subtle emotions.

Jin Sha’s work has a strong rational style. He uses traditional Chinese realist painting techniques in accordance with the rule of visual calculation. He re-creates works from the Renaissance removing the characters but keeping their clothes and props. They have a surreal quality.

The inspiration of Yang Xifa’s work is from ancient coins. His traditional Chinese ink painting is combined with new media including glass, mirrors and other materials. The three-dimensional work contain hidden characters of “heaven and earth”.   While it has an implication of social criticism, it is aesthetically appealing.

In this exhibition, Guan Wei has painting installation and sculptures. It reflects the artist’s social, historical, political and philosophical thinking. In particular, the sculpture “Crossing” has a strong sense of Zen, a calm contemplation of life’s meaning.

These five artists all have the experience of living and working in different countries. In their interactions and collisions with new cultures and ethnic groups, they continue to experience separateness and assimilation. These artists all have taken an active and experimental approach to the artistic exploration of their new environment. And they have achieved a Charming Confusion.

Guan Wei, Secret Histories No.9, 2005, acrylic on canvas, 127x159cm

Guan Wei, Secret Histories No.9, 2005, acrylic on canvas, 127x159cm

Guan Wei, Salvation No.4, 2015, bronze sculpture, ed of 5, 28x23x29cm

Guan Wei, Salvation No.4, 2015, bronze sculpture, ed of 5, 28x23x29cm

Guan Wei, Salvation No.2, 2015, bronze sculpture, ed of 5, 28x23x29cm

Guan Wei, Salvation No.2, 2015, bronze sculpture, ed of 5, 28x23x29cm

Jin Sha, Salute to Masters: Conversation with Jacques-Louis David, 2016, ink and color pigment on silk, 33x30cm

Jin Sha, Salute to Masters: Conversation with Jacques-Louis David, 2016, ink and color pigment on silk, 33x30cm

Jin Sha, Salute to Masters: Engagement of Arnolfini, 2016, ink color pigment on silk, 30cm

Jin Sha, Salute to Masters: Engagement of Arnolfini, 2016, ink color pigment on silk, 30cm

Jin Sha, Salute to Masters: Goodbye Marat, 2016, ink and color pigment on silk, 33x30cm

Jin Sha, Salute to Masters: Goodbye Marat, 2016, ink and color pigment on silk, 33x30cm

Louise Zhang, Believe Me, 2014, vinyl acrylic and oil on birch wood, 50cm diameter

Louise Zhang, Scholar Body #1, 2017, acrylic and oil on birch wood, 50.8×40.8cm

Louise Zhang, Scholar Body #2, 2017, acrylic and oil on birch wood, 50.8×40.8cm

Tim Johnson, Mahakala Pureland, 2017, acrylic on linen, 121x152cm

Tim Johnson, Mahakala, 2017, acrylic on linen (with Daniel Bogunovic), 152x121cm

Tim Johnson, Robert Johnson, 2016, acrylic on linen, 182x60cm

Yang Xifa, Das Kapital series – Faith No. 1, ink on paper, 50x40cm

Yang Xifa, Das Kapital series - Faith No. 2, ink on paper, 50x40cm

Yang Xifa, Das Kapital series – Faith No. 2, ink on paper, 50x40cm

Yang Xifa, Das Kapital series – Scenery in the coin No. 1, ink on paper, 40x50cm

Vermilion Art

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