Saturday, November 10, 2012–Sunday, December 9, 2012
The concept of “ideal beauty” has been widely discussed throughout the history of art. In the series of work The Boundaries of Nature, Fazhi Zhang uses Chinese tray scenery and specimen as the subject to discuss the concept of ideal beauty. Tray scenery is an ancient Chinese art of depicting artistically formed trees, other plants, and landscapes in miniature. In other word, the tray scenery is an “artificial nature”, an incarnation of ideal beauty. In addition to the notion of ideal beauty, Fazhi Zhang also uses tray scenery to metaphor the relationship between people and their environment. Zhang suggested, “In a tray scenery the plant is put in an artificially limited space, and its destiny has been set in advance. From the aspect of life, this setting is sorrowful; however this setting generates a particular beauty, a metaphysical beauty.” He also encourages the viewer to be involved into his paintings, and interpret them according to their own experience. For Fazhi Zhang, this process of viewing and reflecting is exactly how art occurs.