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Metaphysical Series

The purpose of my work is to use it to fight fear from death. Since the demise of the flesh is inevitable, then I can only find ways to plant the fragments of my soul among human civilizations, to root it to console myself. Therefore, it is unimportant to me that what kind of art language I use, and it play a whole key role in my work that what kind of my concept, my soul, in it.


My current series, Metaphysical Series, is a series of works with four chapters. The reason is that if I don't show this pair of opposite contradictions at the same time and look at each other from the perspective of the opposite sides, then it will definitely be incomplete, biased, and even anti-social. I hope that the different worldviews I present will be acceptable to all, especially those with different worldviews. In the current wave of anti-globalization and the wave of people's thinking becoming more and more fragmented. The world needs more neutral speeches that can stand in different worldviews. Understanding each other's world is the most urgent event in the current world.


In terms of artistic language, the works of this series cover almost all the main types of artistic language, including painting, printmaking, fiber, sculpture, performance art, animation, sound and so on.


Sensibility & Rationality 


Sensibility and rationality are considered, respectively, an animal instinct and a human character. Sensibility enables us to perceive time and space, while rationality enables us to understand logic and concepts. I use “sensibility” to describe those that are sensual, tangible, and instinctive, while using “rationality” to describe those that are conceptual, abstract, and thoughtful. Sensibility and rationality are both interconnected and contradictory. Sensibility and rationality are inseparable: sensibility breeds cognition, while rationality serves as sensibility’s guide. Sensory-based information is crucial for human to perceive time and space. It is the universal law to understand our world by gaining experience through the senses, then shaping cognitions through experience, and finally forming concepts through cognitions. If one chooses to abandon sensory-based information and directly acquire concepts instead, he or she might feel conflicted or generate misunderstanding. We cannot make a blind person understand the colors of the world simply by describing them in words; nor can we be sure whether a law is fair when it is not associated with daily practices. Without rationality as guidance, the senses will lose their aims. The information in the world is infinite, while the capacity of the consciousness is limited. Rationality can mobilizes one's concentration and forms preconceptions, so that the senses can acquire information more efficiently. Through studying theory, musicians can notice more subtle melodic variations, and artists can perceive richer color compositions. The ability to coordinate sensibility and rationality is an innate talent of every human being, and every human being is, consciously or unconsciously, skilled in combining and utilizing them. In our civilization, sensibility and rationality often stand against each other. The civilization as we have today is built upon words. The worship for word and book(literal information?) is constantly impacting the universal law of how human understand the world. Abstract content is delivered by words, and as concrete as the content could be, it is essentially abstract information. The concept built upon the abstract information delivered by words is detached from the first-hand experience, and it is also against the natural law of how human understand the world. People often face such dilemma: when the sensory-based experience contradicts the concept obtained from words, they suddenly would not know which one to trust. For example, when people see an unfamiliar but fragrant fruit, they may instinctively decides to eat it because of its appealing scent, or they may refuse to do so out of rational judgment, wondering if the fruit is edible. This dilemma also deprives people of a sense of security and puts him or her in a state of ambivalence. It is too difficult to compare and measure sensory-based information and rational thoughts, for they belong to different system and thus hard to scale. Most of the people, when facing such dilemma, will try to solve it by favoring either sensibility or rationality. If sensibility is regarded as the only truth, the world of science which relies heavily on concepts shall exist no more; meanwhile, if rationality is regarded as the only truth, our agitated feeling and bias of human understanding will be maximized, and will eventually distort our cognition of the world. As the only methods of perceiving the world, sensibility and rationality are not perfect, although each has its own strengths. Human beings are not designed to understand the truth of the world, they can only try to seek the truth of the world with these two less-than-perfect tools. This exhibition is the first part of my series of exhibitions. The original intention of this exhibition series is to visualize the possibilities and limitations of human’s perception of the world. The series consists of four parts: "Sensibility and Rationality”, curated from a neutral perspective; “Criticism on Sensibility" which is biased towards rationality; “Criticism on Rationality”, which is biased towards sensibility; and "Human Limitations” that criticize both. In any discussion on consciousness, sensibility and rationality are the most fundamental and eternal topics.


Critique of Sensibility


Sensory-based information has its individualness. One cannot gain thought solely from it, and naturally cannot understand the logic of this world. “The difference between the sensory and thought is to be located in the fact that the determination of the former is its individualness, and insofar as the individual also stands in connection with other things, whatever is sensory is outside-of-something-else, the abstract forms of which are, more precisely, those of being side-by-side and after one another. “Sensibility allows us to perceive nature, but it can’t let us understand and utilize nature’s universal law. Only rational, universal thought can guide mankind to build the technological civilization as we have today. The rise of rationalism has made science the most powerful religion in history. This exhibition is a ritual of worship for this religion. Emotion is not sacred, nor is it independent of logic or positioned above thought. “Love is unmeasurable. Love is the unique quality of all people.” These words are the most evident examples. Sensibility is what preconsciousness and subconsciousness have done in consciousness. Essentially, the logic of sensibility is similar to the logic of rationality. People instinctively believe that emotions cannot be analyzed, the reason being that the human brain can only receive a limited amount of information at the same time — it is the limitation of consciousness. A computer program can perfectly demonstrate this system: countless background programs are running simultaneously, many of which are affecting the presentation on the screen. In addition, there are countless unobservable algorithms and instructions within the program, and they are the foundation of the screen’s presentation. The world is simple: theoretically, humankind can interpret the rules of the world through a series of mathematical symbols. And yet, the world is also very complicated: the foundation of the world is hidden under intricate rules and information. It is even more complicated for humans, who can only observe things by their senses and then trace their origin. The same holds true for human emotions. By unmasking layers of information, we can discover the genuine truths of emotions and the logic hidden behind them. As for the motivation, mankind’s arrogance makes us reluctant to discard the sanctity of emotions. Human beings need to establish a sanctity for themselves to distinguish ourselves from all other lifeforms. As the saying goes,” Human is the soul of the universe". The sense of security comes from knowing and being in control. Rational information allows people to have a sense of security, and on the contrary, ignorance breeds fear. People often find abstract art “hard to appreciate” or “hard to comprehend”. The reason is because the information that abstract art delivers is sensory-based, which cannot be interpreted by rationality. By executing rational thoughts and logic, I’m able to create a series of works that enable the viewer to understand the mathematical model behind the works, and further, to understand the visual image, thus generating a sense of familiarity and security in a situation that is difficult to appreciate and comprehend. In this process, intuitive feeling constantly reconstructs new cognitions under the effect of optical illusions. Using non-sensory- based methods to generate sensory-based information, then using rational information to reconstruct the viewer's inner cognition. The system within the creative method is far more important than the artist’s own aesthetics because it is the direct creator of these works. Or rather, the creative method is the work itself, and the visual presentation are merely a byproduct of them.


Han, Yali

Kay Niuyue Zhang
Liu, Guo

Yu, Chengtian

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