First retrospective of Wang Guangyi in Europe

 

 

Wang Guangyi is the "other" artist icon of Chinese contemporary art and now has his first retrospective in Europe, in the halls of MAC a Coruna entitled The Relics of believers.

 

 

 

 

With his work analyzes the revolutionary power of the image, a common tool to all civilizations, and so in the exhibition there are a lot of references to political posters, religious imagery, photographs of the star system, a collection of images in which it finally reflects the concept of faith, as a unifying homogenizer engine for the societies that is common to the most diverse civilizations.

 

 

 

 

The exhibition of MAC, Museum of Contemporary Art Gas Natural Fenosa A Coruna, offers a unified experience to understand the production and full life of the author in an environment of concentration and meditation.

 

 

"This anthology serves as a synthesis of 30 years of work, ranging from his first series of 1985 entitled 'The back of humanity', to 'The relics of believers', a work of this summer, made for exposure and that entitled the sample. Galician art critic Anton Castro, one of the curators of the exhibition, explains: "The intention was to present this together as a single body and not as a gallery of works in chronological order," he adds.

 

 

 

Wang Guangyi (Harbin, China, 1957) was born into a humble family and suffered the rigors of Mao's Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) being enlisted in the Red Guard, labeled "intellectual" and sentenced to a reeducation camp. As an adult, it is one of the biggest names of the socalled Movimiento 85, humanist and renewing movement  born with the aim of revolt against a stagnant culture, provoke desire to live and establish a new spiritual model.

 


The exhibition includes representative works of his career, among which, the paintings of the Great Criticism series in which colorful images of Maoist propaganda mixes with Western well known logos and trademarks in an exercise in paradox in which politics, religion and capitalism are suggested as ways to improve our lives. In MAC you can also see his first paintings - with a cold and faceless humanity-, works of this year - a reinterpretation of Don Quixote- and, of course, the installation Relics of Believers, created especially for this exhibition and that gathers images of political leaders like John F. Kennedy or Mao Zedong with samples of uniforms.

 

Wang Guangyi has exhibited in many of the most prestigious museums of contemporary art in the world, as the Centre Pompidou in Paris or the Saatchi Gallery of London and has a great commercial success since the early 90s of last century.

If visual arts arouse emotions in the viewer, and also gastronomy, at its finest, can cause a similar effect, the relationship between both "disciplines" is more than demonstrated.

Cheese is a fundamental piece in gastronomy, its diversity allows it to be part of gastronomy different moments, from starters to desserts, and that is why Art Madrid includes it in this year’s edition of the Fair from an ambitious place. Cheese is given this way a closest view to the creation of a work of art, both from the point of view of the time spent in its execution process and the almost personalized study dedicated to each piece during its elaboration.

Like a plastic artist, the Cheese Master Affineur executes a series of actions making each piece an exclusive and individualized element. This is what Madrid cheese factory QAVA de Quesos and its Master Afinador José Luis Martín achieve.

QAVA & MARTÍN AFINADOR is a new store concept: a unique space designed to taste, learn, promote and buy cheese in Madrid, in the heart of Retiro district."

José Luis Martín is a key piece in the QAVA cheese factory. He has been working in the cheese world for more than 30 years, providing training throughout the world, visiting cheese shops, consulting and advising on the design and implementation of one of the most emblematic cheese shops in Spain. The fact of knowing the producers personally, and even advising them on the manufacture and design of their products, allows him to select specific batches, at different stages of maturation, to complete the cheese ripening and then convert each piece into a unique product, different and with its own distinct character, the signature of the Cheese Master.

In the profile of the Master Martín Afinador experience and pure knowledge merge. Martín Afinador is an advisor and consultant for artisanal cheese factories and product design, and for the best-specialised stores in the country, director of Gourmetquesos, director and coordinator of the Championship of the Best Cheeses in Spain during nine editions, technical director and jury in national and international cheese competitions and tastings, collaborator of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Academy of Spanish Gastronomy, director and coordinator of the cheese section of the Repsol Guide to the Best Foods in Spain and trainer for hospitality schools and food centres teaching, among other activities.

Cheese ripening is a complex process that requires time and dedication, in addition to a developed use of the senses. The Cheese Master Affineur, as a specialist in the field, works in all cheese stages (varied and complex), controls all stages of raw material transformation, supervises the evolution and development of cheeses according to the characteristics of each one of them, verifies the quality and the state when the cheeses arrive at their cellars, checks their care and conservation, and; finally, he controls its packaging and the type of wrapping suitable for its best preservation.

In Qava de Quesos they have two Cheese Refining Cellars. In these "tuning caves" or refrigerated chambers designed in constant conditions of temperature, humidity and ventilation, "we take great care of the cheeses until they reach their optimum point of consumption". The work of refining involves placing the cheeses on wooden shelves, turning them over daily and/or washing them frequently, brushing them periodically, as well as other regular handlings.

Among the services offered by Qava de Quesos, we can find specific courses and workshops, events for groups and companies, and advice on shop design and ripening rooms.