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【评论】Foreword: An elegant revelation, a lonely dreamer

2019-06-03 15:36:48 来源:艺术家提供作者:何宇红 

  When I saw Zhao Mengge's paintings, my first reaction was smiling and keep on smiling for a while, then I dialed her phone number, and I immediately heard her voice over thousands of kilo-miles far away ( it was form Paris to Beijing). As everybody knows, the voices are frequently used today than ever before but in different ways, relying on highly developed new technologies, such as mobile-phone, voice messages, Snapchat, WeChat etc. Therefore, Chinese expression 《 handwriting show your characters 》 has been overshadowed by keyboard typing, screen touching that represents the so called era of  digital. What I want to say is when I connected to Mengge in the phone, I have to say that 《 the voice of someone also show something about his art creation 》  or even we can speculate that 《 the voice may show the temperament of someone 》. The voice of Mengge is a kind of deep and lowly, profound and fully saturated, you feel dependable and lonely but somewhere lightly and cheerful, even clearly with rational tidiness. It is similar to her work, there is no surprise and exceeds expectations. Everything is in the reality, that seems rare in the today's society which is full of the artificial and false things. Two women chatted on the phone with excitement and joy, with the regret of not known each other before (it might not be too much to add three smiley emojis at here).


门徒 Disciple 2014 75cm×420cm 布面油画 Oil on Canvas 赵梦歌


圆融之舞 Harmony 2014 212cm×140cm 布面油画 Oil on Canvas 赵梦歌

  Due to the working relationship, I have done a lot of cooperations with the famous institution 《 Espace des femmes-Antoinette Fouque 》 who is known in the history of women's liberation mouvement. In addition to their commitment of feminism research and organising events and setting exhibitions (galleries), publishing books ( Edition des Femmes ), they also have a "The Voice Library", which publishes many historic celebrities' conversations and voices collections. Antoinette Fouque, is the founder of 《 Alliance des Femmes pour la Démocratie 》 but she also is a psychoanalyst and social activist, she once emphasised that Voice of a Person is even more representative of a personality than Fingerprints or Handwriting. As long as we spend a little time listening patiently and carefully, we can roughly feel a person by his voice. By the chances and coincidences, or perhaps the destiny, despite the distance from two sides of the earth, I can know Zhao Mengge's creative world through the transmission of images, and I have also felt the spiritual world of an artist through the transmission of her voice. This is quite amazing and fantastic! Her self-determination, which is nothing about dramatic joys and sorrows; she is not arrogant and supercilious at all in her artistic career, it is nothing to do with fame and fortune elso. Independent personality, free to live and walk in the world, keep calm and listen, feel the richness, variety and unpredictability aspect of life.... Her works and her souls are perfectly appropriate to this space where I want to present to her. I immediately contacted to the manager of the 《 Galerie des Femmes 》, and over the French speed, we have quickly got two weeks for her in June. This will be the first time for Zhao Mengge that her works is concentrated in front of French audience, and the most fabulous thing is that the exhibition is going to be held in such a place which is extraordinary and significance for a Chinese woman artist.


无题二 Notitle No.2 2015年 60cm×50cm 布面油画 Oil on Canvas 赵梦歌 Zhao Mengge


无题三 Notitle No.3 2015年 60cm×50cm 布面油画 Oil on Canvas 赵梦歌 Zhao Mengge

  If the voice is the direction of a person's "heart", then can the painting should be attributed to the artist's soul? Let's back to the beginning at that "Smiling", how can't I mention this feeling like "fall in love" at first sight? These women bodies of Mengge are so joyful, like the various postures that I am always looking for in my dreams, and I immediately think of the favorite French woman artist Niki Saint Phalle (who died at 2002). I rememberd that it was the same feeling when I saw her famous Nanas for the first time. I even heard myself whispering and snickering. However, this joy is hidden and intimate; the degree of enjoyment is consistent with the degree of relief of pain. I do believe that both Niki Saint Phalle and Zhao Mengge must have the same feeling as me when they are creating. As Niki Saint Phalle once said, "Everyone has a desire to destroy everything, and destruction is for confirm our sense of existence and to oppose the existence of everything." When Artists get into the personal artistic creation world from the secular life, what they have to face and explore is nothing more than the question of the soul. However, each artist's abilities of perception and expression is different for the complexity of the soul, that ultimately determines their art creation. More or less, everyone must face to the life and death, love and hate, sick and ciao etc. Especially women like Niki Saint Phalle who have suffered strongly and set-backed a emotional impact. Art is a cure for such artists, or more precisely, a self-healing. Look for a fulcrum between emotions, fear, violence, betrayal, hopes and happiness that is enough to prop up their world. They are the masters of the world which they created: independent, apostasy, indestructible and admirable. Not a unique occurence, Zhao Mengge once said also that she is the God who created everything in her own art world. People who are accustomed to walking between pleasure and torture will surely have such strength and confidence; they know very well the road signs and obstacles, even though they may not know when the next dangerous intersection will appear and where it will appear.


启示录之二 Revelations NO.2 纸本水墨Ink on Paper 50X80CM 2018年


启示录之4 Revelations NO.4 纸本水墨Ink on Paper 35X34CM 2018年

  When I talked to Mengge about my impression on her works, I also mentioned to her the three Graces of Greek mythology. She did not deny the connection between them. Had they influenced her when she created her series? We did not discuss much futher. I think this is actually not so important. The reason why I compare her with Niki Saint Phalle is because there are too many similarities between them: beauty, independent and strong personality, breaking out from tradition and conservative style, not having a complete academy training, etc……besides, in my opinion, they have their own interpretations of the Muse and the three Graces. The Graces is the theme that many artists can't avoid getting around, from the widely known Sandro Botticelli, Raphael to later René Magritte, Pablo Picasso, Francis Picabia and Marino Marini, they all created relevant masterpieces. There is no doubt that this mythical legend is the most influence and motivated for artists. Its symbolic meaning gave the birth to the inspiration of artists and poets. For Renaissance thinkers, they embody beauty, chastity and love. Indeed, their original source was due to war and cruel election. It just only needs to observe carefully and take a research a little more, then we can find the "Apples" who symbolising the success in their hands has disappeared in the paintings of the 20th century; Before that, although the achievements of the masters such as Raphael who made the gods transform in secular, but it is still inevitable to use women as a symbol of temptation, charm, desire and reproduction. But Picasso's 《Three Dancers》, Margaret's 《Three Swimmers》, Marino Marini's 《Spring Ceremony》 and so on gave women's themes a new meaning. In the later period, the three Graces of Niki Saint Phalle have totally changed, from terms to materials, from forms to expression styles: apart from being strangely dressed, deformed bodies and empty faces, the style is also outrageous: one foot is on the ground and the other is resting in the air. It is really confusing us: are they dancing or performing acrobatics? It was in 1999. In the last year of the twentieth century, did this artist who has a unusual personal life and experiences, with a physiologic problems want to express the joy of dance or the anxiety of imbalance? Is it a kind of great excitement to step into the 21st century, or the carnival before the tragedy coming (two years later, the artist died of respiratory failure)? Anyway the Graces of Niki Saint Phalle have completely transcended the original meaning, but she have retained their fullness, strong, thick and abundant power. This is also what I saw in Zhao Mengge's works. Meanwhile the women in Zhao Mengge's painting include three Graces and her "secret garden" series have more freedom, stretch and ethereal atmosphere. They are more like the the flying Buddhists in Mogao Caves. A group of geniuses, quietly accompanied together come to secular world; playful and making self-entertainment at night. It is worth to mention that the fairies of Zhao Mengge are naked and open, leisurely and cheerful, quiet and natural; strong but well-defined and beautiful, complementing assimilated in the nature. A scene of religious realm where Nature and People sharing the compassion, happiness and sadness. And yet, the immense differences and contrast between this paradise and the real secular state just implies the artist's thinkings during her creation, so we naturally desire to explore more of them when we look at these paintings. It may be the connotation and creative source, we can understand a few meanings from her previous series and album's titles, such as 《 ideal country 》, 《 《freedom》, 《 dreamer》, etc. But until now, we still seem to feel far of being enough comprehending. But this kind of interpretation might be very interesting: a kind of interaction and re-creation with herself and with others. Perhaps it is a characteristic of a good artist. Why Not? The metaphor of meaning and significant extension of their work is very exceeding their original works. By itself, with a rare value of revelation; I hope that her exhibition solo in Paris will get more exchanges, gains and returns with the French spectators.

Yuhong He

Mai 2019, Paris

( Yuhong He, Founder of Union des Artistes d'Asie en France, Writer, Art critic )


启示录之9 Revelations NO.9 纸本水墨Ink on Paper 35X34CM 2018年


​启示录之10 Revelations NO.10 纸本水墨Ink on Paper 34X35CM 2018年