From September 15th to the 28th of 2012, Ouyang Chun’s Child exhibition will be on display at the Today Art Museum. The two floors of exhibition space in Hall 3 will feature over forty pieces of Ouyang Chun’s artwork completed over the course of fifteen years, including his earlier classics and most recent art piece completed in 2011, The Birds are not Afraid of the Scarecrow. The exhibition is a commemoration to the artist’s career.
The artist describes, “Nietzsche uses three spiritual realms to describe the metaphor of life through the camel, lion and child. Nietzsche believed that during the course of human existence we transform ourselves from a camel to lion, and from a lion to a child. The camel represents reality as a burden, as something depressing and anxious, all the time seeking for life’s oasis. The lion represents force and a brave counterattack to the camel in the possibility of humanity to obtain life’s purpose and meaning through it. The lion’s survival techniques allow the individual to eventually calm down and quietly begin to observe their surroundings, and like a child, return back to nature.
An artist’s value does not come through their work, but through their life experiences. By naming the exhibition Child, the show portrays Ouyang Chun’s return to childlike simplicity and happiness, which are important foundations to his artwork.
Child represents something of a rhetorical state of mind: children are forever happy and don’t experience distaste in life- they remain cheerful and innocent, adapting to change whilst always full of curiosity and hope. In the eyes of a child, everything is pure and rich.
Ouyang Chun’s paintings signify a series of development beginning from around ten years ago when he experienced ‘enlightenment’ during his visit to Beijing. At that time he observed the prevailing market of contemporary arts and placed it into two categories: premeditated and clueless passion. As a consequence of opposing the artists‘ style through his own work, he created his own personal framework and technique. Ouyang Chun’s characteristic presentation of the history of art is like a big tree growing separate twigs from the outset, occurrence and development stages. Ouyang’s current exhibition, Child, in addition to his previous displays,Tale of Whaling, Painting the King, and future exhibition, My Story, are similarly all twigs of the same tree.
The state of the child (which gives great joy in the process of painting) is present in all of his artistic creations. Ouyang’s feelings of pressure, confusion and emptiness that he experienced on the road to success were looming in his life for an extended period of time, until two years ago when he decided the negative emotions need to come to an end. In this exhibition we can observe fifteen years of work all generated in one moment of creation- how he faced the impressive development process from a camel to a child, even he doesn’t know how to recount.