Walking Penumbra: Zheng Chongbin

24 March - 27 May 2018

INK studio is proud to present a major solo exhibition entitled Walking Penumbra for California- and Shanghai-based experimental ink artist Zheng Chongbin. The exhibition opens on Saturday March 24, on the occasion of Gallery Weekend Beijing 2018, and runs through May 27, 2018.

 

Centrally featured in the 11th Shanghai Biennale, Zheng’s 2015 installation Wall of Skies confronted its viewer with a concrete, crystallized ink wall in a perception-shifting non-rectilinear white space. As a sequel to this acclaimed installation, Walking Penumbra places its viewers in an inchoate black space of layered shadow, skylight, moving image, and sound. By moving through the space, the viewer continually discovers his or her position and orientation in relation to a kaleidoscopic flux of images and sounds.

 

Alongside Walking Penumbra, Zheng Chongbin will also exhibit Actant Memories, a new series of translucent acrylic and video sculptures that he debuted in November 2017 at the Yoshio Taneguchi-designed Asia Society Texas Center in Houston.  Here concrete sculpture mediates a dynamic spatial play of image, light, shadow, and penumbra—the luminous border between light and shadow.

 

Finally, in its third-floor galleries, INK studio will showcase Zheng Chongbin’s latest abstract paintings. In development since the early 1980’s, Zheng’s painting practice employs the visual language of geometry—specifically the natural geometry of fractals, the Euclidean geometry of human design, and the abstract, mathematical topology of continuous spaces—to explore ink and its relation to embodied human experience and to the living material world.

 

Central to my practice is the pre-modern Daoist concept that the natural, inorganic world of energy and matter is living and always changing. If this is the case, how do we attune our perceptions to produce knowledge of this ever-changing world? How are we changed by our phenomenological (perceptual) entanglement with the phenomena (events) of the world? In turn, how do we, through our engagement with the world, actively create-transform ourselves and the world’s being and becoming?

 

Unlike Western philosophers, who tended to embrace an ontology consisting of objects and categories, the pre-modern Chinese saw the world as made up of processes in flux—chaotic flows of matter and energy that came into transient coherent order and then dissipated. Today, this process-based worldview undergirds contemporary mathematics and scientific inquiry, from chaos theory to ecology, as well as philosophical discourses such as post-humanism and new materialism. Through geometry, space, light, moving image, material, and process, my work places these different worlds in dialog as human experience.