Jia Zhiheng Solo Exhibition —— Moderate Simulation
Organizer: Three Shadows Xiamen Photography Art Centre
Duration: Sept 11, 2021– Oct 17, 2021
Opening: Sept 11, 2021 15:00
Venue: No. 301, Building 2, Xinglinwan Business Center, Jimei District, Xiamen
(Enter from the large platform connecting Building 1 and Building 2)
Jia Zhiheng, Artist. Graduated from the Chinese University of Hong Kong with a major in visual culture studies. Lives in Chengdu.
Written After Midnight
Every day after midnight, my brain is struck by a sensation similar to jet lag: I feel strangely awake, longing to capture some details of my life and somehow feeling too vulnerable to react. Then I make up my mind, get out of bed, go out and walk. Such experiences often come to nothing. Only a few surprises would emerge from trees and flowers under the streetlights - shining against the black background with a powerful and somewhat illusory presence.
When I paint during the day, the image of flowers and trees gradually fades away.
I could only dig out some memories to use as material: stars have points and flowers are glowing dots. Their outlines are simplified, regular and symbolic, with a fixed path of growth. When examined carefully, such shapes are not realistic since natural objects that have a realistic touch seem more liberating.
Perhaps we are all used to being around carefully trimmed shapes, which is where I start to create.
"The gently glowing grass and flowers drift loose in the air as if they are talking and dancing.”
Almost all of Jia Zhiheng's works in this series are created late at night in his high-rise single apartment where he sees the shimmering city and the deep blue sky reflecting dim light. Stroke by stroke, he "adds" the world extracted from his memory and recreated it when the night blurs the experience of time.
This world is soft, dreamy, restrained, and detached, removing all the complexity that filters out reality, leaving only the background of blue sky, green land and sea, and those subjects of stars and moon, flowers and plants, and the horizon that we are all very familiar with. The subject is centered while the background is flat, but when you look at it closely, you will discover some fascinating arrangements: stars shining during the daytime, celestial bodies scattered on the desktop, fireworks waiting to go to work, a rainbow growing on top of a cabin, a fence with a gap in a perfectly straight line…… In his works, Jia takes some imageries we take for granted and drastically simplifies them from color to form, and then gently embellishes and distorts them.
In his works, man is not the subject of the world but rather the familiar imagery that surrounds us. It is as if, at night, Jia Zhiheng is alone side by side with those stars, moon, flowers, and plants, talking and enjoying the breeze, waiting for the sunrise, watching the snow fall, and urging them to go to work. This is a world where neither natural nor social rules apply. It is a moderate simulation of reality, a dream-like world.