Following resident Chinese artist Zhang Enli and RA alumnus Paul Schneider, K11 Art Foundation (KAF) and the Royal Academy of Arts (RA) are presenting the third phase of their three-year collaborative artist-in-residence programme: Paradox Lake, the first solo exhibition in Asia of RA alumnus Martin Gross which will be on view at K11 art village, Wuhan, China. The exhibition explores social landscape—a relationship between humans and the man-made urban environment—and discloses the ways in which life and art are together presented as a spectacular agglomerate.
Giving birth to visual spectacles among unique urban textures
Gross spends most of the eight weeks of the residency traveling in the hustle and bustle of Wuhan’s architectural density and traffic crowdedness. He wanders in the rapidly developing city that is in recent years caught in high-speed renewal projects and social changes and is awed by the spectacle this highly-populated city has to offer. As the “city of hundred lakes,” Wuhan is geologically known for the large number and variety of lakes within the city—not only lakes as popular as the tourist-attracting Donghu, but also lakes rapidly shrinking or disappearing as the city further urbanizes itself. The unique geological nature of the city along with the profound history of punk music interest Gross. Creating for the upcoming exhibition, the artist weaves his observations and experiences of local cultures together with rich inspirations and astute narrative abilities and produces a series of paintings and installations that depict and reflect upon everyday life, pertaining to the balanced relationship between humans, Wuhan city, nature, lakes and the constantly renewed landscape. The unique cityscape result directly in the notion of Paradox Lake.
Heavily influenced by his time in Wuhan, Gross created a number of new and bold works on-site. This new body of bold works by Gross is a result of the artist’s constant evolving artistic process, as he relentlessly innovates and renews the conceptual aspect of his art and makes breakthroughs at decisive turning points. By participating in the KAF-Royal Academy artist-in-residency programme, Gross furthers his practice that is deeply rooted in his long-term focus on our social connections, our world around us and the visual languages of the information society.
Deepening international cultural exchanges and revitalising the city
As a result of the latest KAF artist-in-residence programme in China, and the third edition of the artist-in-residence collaboration between KAF and the Royal Academy, the exhibition further deepens the international cultural exchanges and cross-disciplinary research practices between China and overseas.
Aidan Li, Head of K11 Art Foundation says: “Through our collaboration with RA on the residency programme, KAF aims at encouraging and inspiring artists from various fields to reconsider the potential of languages and information, to produce new narratives in social landscapes. Paradox Lake further amplifies the social influence of the collaborative residency programme, makes an example and opportunity for Chinese contemporary art to be more integrally involved in international dialogues, and provides a new perspective regarding the local cultures and lifestyles of Wuhan.”
May Xue, curator of Paradox Lake and Director of Education & Institutional Relations, remarks on this artist-in-residence programme: “We hope that participating artists could be deeply involved with the city of Wuhan, and the public here. We hope that the art produced on the occasion and the KAF could together elevate everyday aesthetics to another level. The international nature and locality of the residency programme rendered the previous two editions more than successful and rich. The residency programme in Wuhan will continue observing the principles of the programme and will further benefit the local and create new opportunities.”
Dedicated to supporting young artists KAF carries out the promise of building a unique contemporary Chinese culture and enhancing public understanding of art. This three-year artist-in-residence partnership between KAF and RA redefines the meaning of an international cultural dialogue, continuously encouraging artists to aspire to greatness.
K11 Art Foundation
K11 art village
No 355 Guan Shan Avenue, East Lake New Technology Development District, Wuhan | China