The Lightness of Being

24 Nov - 22 Dec 2021 Chen Wenling

The Lightness of Being

Curated by Dr Geoff Raby AO
Featured artist Chen Wenling

Vermilion Art is pleased to announce Chen Wenling’s first solo exhibition in Australia, The Lightness of Being. Chen Wenling is an internationally acclaimed sculptor and his work has been shown at Sculpture by the Sea six times.  The exhibition is curated by the former Australian ambassador to China, Dr Geoff Raby AO, a long-term supporter of Chinese contemporary art.The Lightness of Being includes works from the artist’s earlier period through to his latest works, some of which are shown for the first time. The exhibition presents a mirror to ourselves.” Geoff Raby said. “It shows how we respond to adversity, power, avariciousness, consumerism, and the constant pressure just to be ‘happy’. Through irony, allegory, and most importantly impish wicked humour, Wenling helps us see that in each of us the human spirit endures and will prevail. Chen Wenling is the artist of our times.”

Conversation | Chen Wenling and Dr Geoff Raby AO

The Lightness of Being installation view, 2021

The Lightness of Being installation view, 2021

The Lightness of Being installation view, 2021

The Lightness of Being installation view, 2021

The Lightness of Being installation view, 2021

The Lightness of Being installation view, 2021

The Lightness of Being installation view, 2021

“Through irony, allegory, and most importantly impish wicked humour he helps us see that in each of us the human spirit endures and will prevail. He is the artist of our times.”

Chen Wenling: The Lightness of Being

Guest curator:  Dr Geoff Raby AO

As life creeps back towards a covid-normal world, nearly two years after the entire planet was knocked off course by an unexpected and unknown disease, it is time to reflect on what we have learnt about our lives, that of others and of being – weak, vulnerable, resilient, and playful in the face of adversity.

Chinese contemporary artist Chen Wenling’s first Australian solo exhibition presents a mirror to ourselves. It shows how we respond to adversity, power, avariciousness, consumerism, and the constant pressure just to be ‘happy’.

Wenling’s now world-renowned ‘red men’ series stems from the artist’s own experiences in Fujian province. Emaciated naked red men grinning madly, defiantly covering their ridiculously tiny genitals, standing on their heads balancing smaller men on the soles of their feet, bending backwards and forwards and every which way as a statement of their individual wills, despite having nothing.

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