Xie Zhengli Solo Exhibition — Shadow of Colors

Opening: Thursday 30 August, 2012 16:00-19:00 Exhibition dates: Friday 31 August– Sunday 30 September, 2012 Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Sunday 12:00-18:00

Boers-Li Gallery is pleased to announce Xie Zhengli's first solo exhibition at Boers-Li Gallery, "Shadow of Colors", opening August 30th, 2012. Xie graduated from the College of Fine Arts of Sichuan University in 2005 and received her master's degree in oil painting from the same institution in 2008. Her newest paintings are extensions of her previous intricate style, where she explores fresh subjects such as bones and remains that add a touch of Gothic undertones to her seemingly placid works.

Xie Zhengli has a way of mirroring the colors of life in the hues of shadows. She uses grey-toned colors in place of saturated bright tones and there is always a trace of darkness lurking even in the most stunning yellows and greens. As Leonardo da Vinci once wrote on painting, "Just as all the colors are tinged with the darkness of the shadow of night, so the shadow of any color ends in that darkness." If life is best reflected upon the deceased, then shadows are a most appropriate reflection of color.

Xie's strokes are gentle, her subjects vivid, and yet, there is a lack of vibrancy to her works. The squirrels and birds rest playfully or chirp joyously not amidst fruitful forests, but atop barren branches of bonsai gardens. The butterflies are lined up neatly in rows and columns while the deer and antelopes are encased in glass cages, looking out longingly at a forlorn environment.

In this new exhibition, Xie is influenced by specimens found in the natural museums she visited whilst in India, where the preserved animals are presented to the viewer as an extension of life: They are displayed and arranged in life-like stances within their natural habitats, although there is nothing natural about their surroundings since they are all man-made. Xie's paintings are melancholic representations of life as she seeks to both extend and destroy these life forms, combining delicate style with bursts of rough scratches across the animals' bodies. The scratches are pugnacious lashes of life on a fragile canvas. They illuminate the somber and precise paintings with power and intensity.

The three deer in Deer 3 are frozen in three different anguished poses looking in three different directions. Their bodies are agitated, longing for movement, and yet, they are bound on pedestals in a cage. The coarse and untrimmed grass in the background is the only clue left that they were once lively, breathing beings. Death froze them, in a moment and in eternity.

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