Li Yongzheng
15 Mar - 25 Apr 2024

MAYAO is delighted to present Chinese artist Li Yongzheng's first Hong Kong solo exhibition - “Beyond the Silence” - from 15 March to 27 April, 2024. The exhibition will take place in both MAYAO main gallery and ground floor window space MY-Project, showcasing Li Yongzheng's paintings, video documentation, and installation works, where he poetically questions the humanity and the practice of free will expression in nowadays' world. Most of the new creations will be unveiled to the public for the first time. You are all cordially invited to come visit the exhibition!

Li Yongzheng frequently employs a diverse range of mediums and forms in his artistic endeavors, exploring themes intertwined with memory, history, and power. Rather than espousing a singular opinion, his art invites viewers to engage in open interpretations while delving into profound questions. While his installations and video documentations consistently address significant societal issues, his paintings unveil a more intimate and lesser-known side of his artistic expression. Departing from the somber tones of resistance, solitude, and intensity prevalent in his earlier works, Li Yongzheng's paintings somehow exude a sense of vibrancy and dynamism imbued with elements of imagination and hope, blending memory, emotion, and subconsciousness together. This evokes effortlessness on the canvas, indicating the return of his self-exploration. The fluidity between the "otherness" and the "ego" prevents the artist from succumbing to the dictates of any certain narrative, resonating with the overarching theme of the exhibition “Beyond the Silence''.

In his continuous artistic contemplation over years, he frequently directs his focus towards the "border" areas in northwest China, renowned for their importance as frontiers. He expands reflections from the geographical domain to encompass broader social phenomena and daily life. He compares the actual border to the symbolic "border", signifying the relationship between physical border and the border of consciousness in contemporary society; "Salt'' is another distinctive medium in Li Yongzheng's art creation. Reflecting on his childhood, salt carries significant importance during times of material scarcity, representing the memories of a generation. Therefore, many of his early works are created by salt, such as “Salt at Ganren Boqi Mountain”, “Death Has Been My Dream for a Long Time'' etc, connecting salt to the people and issues he wanted to convey. Li Yongzheng is also renowned for his social experiments. Over a span of ten years (1998 to 2008), he created some paintings and exchanged them for secrets with the public, resulting in the project "Secret Exchange, 2014 - 2015." Another notable social artwork by him is "Brick Relay," entirely developed and shared online, embodying the internet ethos during the Weibo era. These works hold significant importance in Chinese contemporary art and art history.


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