Wang Xiyao • Peach Blossom Spring Story • 26.04.–22.06.2019

“Everything is intuition”

The work of Chinese artist Wang Xiyao is traversed by sometimes delicate, sometimes energetic lines. In “Peach Blossom Spring Story”, her first solo exhibition at Soy Capitán, she is showing her most recent works. Wang was born and brought up in China, and now lives in Germany. Her work springs from the union of the two cultures, resulting in an interesting field of tension.

Line—the common thread in all of the shown works—offers a hint at narrative. Wang’s narrative is one about rootedness and the multiple meanings of the word “home.” It hints at the idea of relocation and the formation of an extended notion of “home” that has fascinated Wang since her arrival in Germany in 2015. Similar to a flow of thoughts, brushstrokes run over the canvas, recording a conglomeration of lived experiences in dynamic line-work.

The chosen works for this exhibition showcase Wang’s artistic and personal development during a period of cultural blossoming. In order to capture her personal impressions of cultural particularities, Wang channels them into the strong colors and shapes of her paintings, which appear at first entangled and then loosened. Physical memories from her everyday life—such as travelling—are embedded in her paintings. In this way, Wang offers insight into the inner life of a world-traveller.

As she works, Wang listens to electronic sounds which allow her to enter a unique emotional state, enabling her to follow her intuition completely and arrive at vivid and particular imagery. By engaging herself in the flow of the music, Wang is able to render chaotic experiments on the canvas into harmonic final works. Paintings that develop during the same period of time are visibly linked to one other, each complementing or continuing where the previous one left off.

Peach Blossom Spring (Chinese: 桃花源 記) is a fable written by Tao Yuanming in 421 AD about an accidental discovery of a utopia where humans live in perfect harmony with nature, hidden from society for centuries. Like Yuanming, Wang Xiyao depicts a blooming utopia. This exhibition offers up a utopian situation to the viewer, different from every perspective and angle, in which the paintings can be seen.

Wang Xiyao (born in 1992 in Chongqing, China) lives and works in Berlin and China. In 2018, she graduated from the University of Fine Arts of Hamburg in the classes of Werner Büttner, Anselm Reyle, Thilo Heinzmann, and Jochen Dehn. She was nominated for the Schües Art Award and the Hiscox Art Award in 2017 and attended an international exchange programme at State University of New York at Purchase College in 2018.