Baahng Gallery is pleased to present Two Rocks, an exhibition for artists Nobuo Sekine and Zhang Hongtu. The exhibition will showcase a selection of their paintings, sculptures, and multi-media installations, from the 1980’s and 1990’s. The exhibition will run from September 20th through October 21, 2017, and an opening reception will be held at the gallery 6pm to 8pm, on Wednesday, September 20, 2017.
Two Rocks showcases the work of modern sages, Nobuo Sekine and Zhang Hongtu, from the 1980’s and 1990’s, pivotal years in their contributions to art. Sekine is a key founder of Mono-ha, a group of artists that gained prominence in Tokyo in the late 1960’s for their rejection of the traditional ideas of representation. Primarily known as a sculptor, Sekine incorporates natural and industrial materials in his work, and his work explores the properties and interdependency of these materials with their surrounding space. In the late 1980’s, he returned to his original training as a painter, and began creating Phase Conception – a series of “paintings” of phases. The phases are made out of thick Japanese handmade paper, cut out, torn, pasted back onto the remaining surface and coated with either gold leaf or black lead.
They are based on a topological geometry concept as applied to space, which is that the continuous transformation of form does not affect the sum total of the form’s mass. Concurrently, in the late 1980’s, Zhang, a forerunner of Political Pop Art, immigrated to New York where he would discover Pop Art against the geo-political backdrop of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre. Zhang is known for using various painting styles and media to produce artistic critiques of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, including through his appropriating images of Mao Zedong. His newer works have branched into environmental concerns, and include his classical Chinese landscape paintings, which, traditionally painted in black-and-white, are added with sensuous, toxic colors.
Nobuo Sekine has been recognized for his artistic breakthroughs, including at the 1968 Contemporary Sculpture Exhibition in Kobe for his work: Phase – Mother Earth, and at the 1970 Venice Biennial for his work: Phase of Nothingness. His works have been exhibited internationally, including at Guggenheim Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Haus der Kunst in Germany, and Museum of Modern Art in New York. Two Rocks will feature Sekine’s Phase Conception paintings, including Flower, Spring Sea, and From Inside a Semicircle.
Zhang Hongtu is the recipient of awards, including from the Pollock Krasner Foundation in 1991 and the National Endowment for Arts in 1995. His works have been exhibited internationally, including at Bronx Museum, Kaohsiung Museum in Taiwan, Museu Picasso in Spain, Queens Museum, The Deichtorhallen in Germany, Israel Museum, and Metropolitan Museum of Art. Guggenheim Museum in New York will showcase Zhang Hongtu’s Vitrine, 1986-1995 in the upcoming exhibition “Art and China After 1989: Theater of the World.” Two Rocks will feature paintings, sculptures, and multi-media installations by Zhang, including Self-Portrait in the Style of the Old Masters, The Red Door, and Re-Make of Ma Yuan’s Water Album (780 Years Later).