“Trop de lucidite est un desert…”
The conceptual works of the emergent artist, Fu Shuai, are chiefly inspired by his meditations upon virtual reality and the marginal space, conceptual or visual, with that of actual space. The actual and the presence of a material subversion, (we may later get the concrete deception at hand), which operate in intricate and geometrically intriguing composition, further extend the conceptual paradigms of this ingenuous voice.
From peripheral latitudes to minutiae, the artist has endeavoured to render the limitations of visual ontology with that of metaphysical speculation. The accumulation of evidence, in referral to his technical methodology which coalesces artifice, creation and visual stimulae by way of replicae, is the result of an exacting attention to material language and it’s employment. Paper being the chief tool which the artist’ morphs as metallic object, a process of transmutation which refuses immediate recognition (origin) to the final (an effective visual obscurity via deception of appearance) manifest subversion in “apparent” form plays upon likeness, simulacra and the prevalent dichotomy of material transmutation and the “found”, whether in the original objectivity or replication, suggesting influences Duchampian, of Arte Povera. The latter’ minimalist reductivism and stark character led to a distinct rule of material deployment towards the contest of the associative, ontological symbolic and cognitive suggestion. Fu Shuai appears thus inspired, yet there is an intention which further absorbs and extrapolates upon the immediacy and potential or languages material: their diffuse subversion via modal transformation.
While not to betray the secret, the artist has created a brilliant micro-intensive layering process of plain paper, saturated with ink or pigment, brushed and worn towards the desired replica of corrogated sheet or similar industrial metallic product. The facsimile of decayed or heavily tarnished metallic surface is an optical ruse owing this intensive proximity and reveals the artist’ adept knowledge of process oriented creation, one which resounds with the artisanal skill of rendering visible the invisible. The unseen of the imagination thus converges in one act, while a thousand delicate operations are engaged in the individual reincarnation of base material into the cryptological exploration of memories associative to mundane abandon and decay.
The ornamental display of the manufactured decay, an aestheticism indelible with anti-art legacy, mirrors an extension of the visually subverse as a central tenement of Fu Shuai. Object and material transmutation are upheld with symbolic gesture as an accolade to the tense contest, historical adversity, of the art considered “fine” and convulsive paradox of the sublimination of content and form, content as form…which occurs throughout contemporaneous practice, albeit, with extensive failure rather than as embodied in the apparent success of his visual disallocation and deceit. That which is illusory apprehends the real with a concurrent display, evidentiary, of what transpires when conceptual process remains coherent with philsophical acumen. Thus manifest, the artist envisages objects which trace an imaginary period of decay, encapsuled mnemonic time, with the actual verge of fresh materials having undergone evocative minutiae by way of a labour both intellectual and physical.
The relief of these creations remains primarily replicae, in that, the common and mundane are staged in sculptural reminscence of a future past. To examine the individual artworks is not essential, whether unique or combined in presentation, apart from being displayed on bare or coloured canvas, what is demarcated is the sense of optical ruse and dextrous transformation of the physical “real”: this is a delicate and fragile issuance both in aesthetic and artistic terms. The relief is a demeanor, a cognitive echo of origin(s), which denotes our fascinus (collective/individual) with the modality of the visual. In a manner of speaking, these works are forensic in their artisanal science, that which propels the multiple planes of paper to emerge as highly complex myriads that return to objectivity yet insist against objecthood as being necessary in the discourse which Fu Shuai navigates with successive operations.
In this regard, the experimental acts a priori despite the mundanity which we witness or believe, at first glance, is to be held to the eye of the viewer. Miniature refinements complement the modal illusionary, hinges, metallics pins and screws are actually later driven within the surface of the chameleon paper, the processs of manufacture here evolve allegorical and derivative, rather than intellectual or imaginary. Thus, we have the visual concrete oppostion of object found justaposed with object reminiscent of the former presupposition in one visual sleight of hand.
The geometric refinement of the works is exquiste in rendering and immediate associations with Escher, graphic minimalism or neo-avant garde historical emperical modes of operation alight. These in particular reveal their author’s individual locus, his creative impetus, to somehow navigate the shoals of the imagined virtual with the factual virtual, as to divorce the two in the era which he belongs to appears both banal and naive in precept. Central in his discernment, is the visual factum of material based discourse and evolutionary thus bespoke. It is a technical rather than organic disposition, as the latent force of his works assumes a quasi-scientific parameter given their intensive fabrication and the geo/metaphysical gravtitations of their composition.
The marked assymetry and symbiotic facets of the planar are also well deserved of attention. In several creations, hinges (actual) bind the panels (replicae) together to render complete the sense of illusion. The may be active, they are yet displayed as dormant or idle objects for the ritual of adornment which Duchamp sought to dismantle with a single coup d’etat. Yet, as noted earlier in this essay, the chief distinction between the radically apart visual operandi is the resort to transmutate, rather than simple aes_thete/historical countpoint of a century earlier. The interwoven complexitiy and mechancal derivation, gestural and symbolic, allows a breath of life for the actual of a process orientation which determines the end while simultaneously, refracts with the truth of lucid evolutions owing to the same origin of concept. The labour is intrinsic and extemporal, the imaginary and real fuse in actions which reveal the transparency of facile mimesis or objective polemical machination, while serving as diffuse operations which depict the fruit of a hard labour won by material engagement and that of a desire to obtain knowledge(s) born of that which is within the visceral obscurity of existence.
To return to a separate latitude in the evaluation of the artist’ creative trajectory, the sense of geometrical, symmetry and ocular illusion. The mechanics of illusion have been discussed, what I wish to remark upon is a rather extraordinary ability to achieve sculptural configurations uniform to a law which normally governs physics than the imagined speculative projections of a visual artist. Despite the complexity of the myriad rays and hues which prove decorative, the linear and figurative schemata echoes metaphysical concerns that act in spatial alliance with those queries scientific. The grid like patterns or geometrically repetive screens which are set strategically counter one another to further hyperextend the potential of illustrative discourse (planar to angular) dictate a profound sensitivity of the artist towards the codification of a discourse, digital (animus) axiom or virtual stream, which is entrenched in the experiential of the abstract within cognition. In context, the rupture with the planar field towards extension to an envisaged alterior real, via mathematic graphism, challenges a cornucopia of anticipation or latent expectation for the novice of contemporary art and it’s affiliate theoretics. Yet, the compositional simplicity does remind, consciously or not, that we collectively share a kinesis with the supposed limitations of the scientific “concrete” while tend to sympathize with the poeticism of abstract or aesthete depiction in our era of digital enhancement, virtuality and subsequent engagement with the ocular field.
The works are not ornate, nor spectral, rather bi-planar depictions of a field known as spatial, the intensity of their graphic quality operates towards an optimization of the sculptural effect, one intends to turn to view from all sides that which is impossible. Thus, the invisible unspoken, and a metaphysical incarnation of visual strategem emancipate from the probability of dialectics virtual or imagined alone.
The “condition” of these unites to attest to isolation, compositional attributes to mechanicism, mathemetical speculum while refract sensibility ascribed to the logician. Should we recall the poeticism of sheer science, we may then read these particular subversions, where the material, modal and that of visually extemporal metaphysical contemplation align, as being possessed of a knowledge beyond that expected of such a relatively young voice. The query appears more intensive in application and intellectual rigour, exemplary, in that dispossesed of a hyper-aestheticism or fascination with the technically derivative of the virtual, the artist exacts his articulation of dimensions metaphysical in the creations emanations in spatial tension and variation.
The concision of surface tension, focal power and strength of parameter distinguises Fu Shuai, necesssarily, from those whom merely attempt to render the object as an attainable tool of admiration which we might delight in whether as an aestheticized object or discursive element. Replicae is not fabulae in this case, the case a situational enquiry into modality, visuality and formulaic renderings which capture attention given their compositional elasticity and conceptual forte. The delight is in the discovery of the vigour and passionate intellect which elicits further deployment of languages whether contrastive, diverse or the delivery of dynamic invisibles which somehow confine experiences latent and unseen. Lucid speculations of the unknown margins which occur with electric polarity in fields dreamt as much real.
R. A. Suri