Pantomime in the garden
Opening: 2022.07.16
Duration: 2022.07.16-2022.08.14
Artist:Li Jiarui、Zhou Xinyu
If you, that have grown old, were the first dead,
Neither catalpa tree nor scented lime
Should hear my living feet, nor would I tread
Where we wrought that shall break the teeth of Time.
Let the new faces play what tricks they will
In the old rooms; night can outbalance day,
Our shadows rove the garden gravel still,
The living seem more shadow than they.

— The New Faces, William Butler Yeats

Pantomime in the absence of verbal narrative, the viewer to make gestures, movements and expressions to achieve the plot in a way that points to the unclear. The practice of Li Jiarui and Zhou Xinyu brings the audience into hidden fragments of thought by capturing certain fleeting emotions in everyday situations, recreating the memory or imaginary moment in a non-textual way, which makes their paintings and pantomime expressions present a commonality.

Li Jiarui's works are like constructing gardens, surreal interpretation of everyday natural scenes, adding before and after plots and narrative contexts to these unspeakable memory fragments, and constructing dynamic and wild illusions with large scenes, presenting a full-fledged chapter-back narrative. In Zhou Xinyu's creation, she focuses on using a variety of materials to reproduce specific moments in daily life. These specific memories are focused, frozen, and layered on the plane, making the original meaning more elusive, while allowing the material texture in the picture to present a new expression, bringing this fleeting memory back to the distracting moment.

In this duo exhibition, their works together point to a discussion of the broad semantic potential, the aphasia atmosphere constructed by the work itself, like the emotions deliberately suppressed by pantomimes during performance, so that the grotesqueness of grandeur and humor, as well as the glittering daily myths, are magnified in quiet solitude, bringing an energy hidden in the hustle and bustle.

Li Jiarui, born in Beijing in 1993, graduated from the Oil Painting Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts with a bachelor's degree and a master's degree from the Royal College of Art, UK. She is currently a PhD student at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London. She lives and works in Beijing and London. Jiarui's creative exploration involves sculpture, printmaking, and digital art, and now uses easel painting as her main medium. For Jiarui, painting is a way of knowing and understanding the world, as well as a tool to observe the psychology and motivation of the contemporary collective subconscious. The colors in her writing touch the blanks of words, filling in the places where reason cannot reach, with vision and aesthetics. Jia Rui prefers an introspective way of thinking. Through the visual means of painting, she tries to explore the emotional state of herself and the contemporary people as a whole in a rapidly changing environment.

Zhou Xinyu, Born in 1997 in Lanxi, Zhejiang, now living and working in Hangzhou. Graduated from the Animation Department of China Academy of Art with a bachelor's degree in 2019. She is currently studying a master’s degree in the third studio of the Printmaking Department of the Chinese Academy of Arts. Zhou Xinyu's early art practice was mediated by animation and digital painting. Recently, she prefers to use comprehensive materials as the main medium in her works. Zhou Xinyu's creation revolves around personal experience and public events, but she does not translate these directly into pictures, but creates from the emotions derived therein. She draws inspiration from distorted images, light and shadow fragments, and focusses on the fragility of real life and fleeting surroundings. Figures in her works often reflect a strong sense of alienation from the real world. Her stagnant emotions are intertwined with calm gaze. She uses painting as a means of asking questions about the real world.