中文

"2½ D" Fu Shuai Solo Exhibition

2021.9.12-2021.10.31

Art+ Shanghai Gallery,East Beijing Road No.99, L207

RIPPED EDGES, RESTORED PERSPECTIVES

By Liya Prilipko

 

Those who have seen Fu Shuai’s work once will instantly recognize it again. For years he has been committed to building a pictorial syntax that could facilitate his research and reveal complex perceptual relationships of people to their observed reality, the relationship of reality to illusion, and their points of convergence and divergence.

 

Albeit seemingly straightforward appearance, Fu Shuai’s works reward a mindful observer with baffling impressions. Crisp lines, laconic forms, extraordinary rich visual textures, superb manipulation of colors, precise references to the material world and uncanny depiction of real-life processes of corrosion and dilapidation, illusion of volume, light, indentation or protrusion, illusion of an illusion, dramatic fluorescent accents, and, very recently added to his pictorial vocabulary, acutely realistic renderings of tearing on materials, - all compose his distinguishing pictorial ecosystem of multifaceted conceptually and visually contradictory relationships. 

 

Fu Shuai’s hyper-real portrayals of rusted metal surfaces and convincing visual illusions of volumetric forms instinctively create an impulse in the brain to reach out and touch the surface or to change a vantage point to make sure that what our eyes and mind perceive is what we really are looking at. Fu Shuai achieves such effects through approaching every square inch of his work with equal precision, crystalizing his imagery, without hesitating to resort to technological advancements of the 21st century, if needs be. As a result, his work goes beyond realism into an area similar to trompe-l'oeil, similar but not identical, as, for Fu Shuai, it is never the goal to mislead his viewer. On the contrary, the conception comes to a full realization when the viewer identifies the visual trickery that the artist has scrupulously incorporated. Fu Shuai intentionally designs scenarios where precisely crafted illusions get exposed by other visual cues.

 

He creates with the viewer in mind, to the point that his works exist less as objects to be examined than as generators of perceptual responses in the eyes and mind of the viewer. His entire creative process is dictated by this final goal, starting from the meticulous time- and labor-intensive procedure of creating a paper that animates his work and gives it its incredible texture, to learning the 3D modeling software to give his forms the most natural lighting effects, to employing laser cutter to recreate the most natural and spontaneous effect of tearing and to produce ‘iron nails’, with the 3D printer, which when attached to the artwork add physical volume to otherwise flat surfaces. 

 

The light and shadow effect, first modeled in 3D software and painted later on the surface, evokes the illusion of solidly three-dimensional objects, be it a single cube, two cubes hovering in the space, or a tower of stacked up cubes. For those who have not come across Fu Shuai’s work before, it is important to mention, that, as his previous series have proven, the artist’s sense of perspective is indisputable without having to resort to digital manipulation. It is the sheer act of turning to technology to facilitate the absolute precision in the portrayal of an illuminated object that matters here because it is this exact precision that Fu Shuai unmasks as an illusion with the visual cue which we are about to discuss. By creating a distance between the artwork and the wall it is hung on, he prepares a scenario in which the work itself casts a shadow on the surface outside of its boundaries. With some of the works, the artist goes a step further and covers the back with fluorescent paint thus causing old rusty metal surfaces to produce a fluorescent glow on the wall. Strikingly out-of-place fluorescent accents in his work are the metaphor for the ubiquitous presence of virtual reality that co-exists dangerously close with the reality of our tangible world. In some of the series, the fluorescent pink, yellow, and orange lightning-like beams dissect the hard rusty surfaces of the metal sheets, which brings us to the next pictographic oxymoron. 

 

In the Light Leak and Cube Research – Rend series, Fu Shuai deepens his visual puzzle by placing one illusion next to the other. Eerily palpable hard corroded metal pieces and cubes are torn apart like thin sheets of paper. In some of the works, pieces of metal seem to have been peeled off the surface in the most unlikely fashion. Once again by means of utilizing digitally controlled technology, in this case, a laser cutting machine, to produce an accurate rendering of ripped paper edges, Fu Shuai implants a visual cue that exposes yet another precisely crafted visual inconsistency. 

 

By establishing such contradictory physical and conceptual relationships between various aspects of his work, Fu Shuai places it in an intermediate position between two- and the three-dimensional world, between painterly and sculptural realm, referring to it as 2 ½ D.   

 

Not only speaking from the stance of portrayed three-dimensionality and materiality but also deliberating on the technical and physical qualities, none of Fu Shuai’s works are entirely flat. Due to the distance that sets them away from the wall, most of the works expand beyond the borders of the flat surface producing a shadow on the physical space around them. In those works that don’t, as a means of defying the flatness of the picture plane, Fu Shuai incorporates 3D printed elements that look like nails hammered through the surface of the picture.  

 

The 2 ½ D that Fu Shuai refers to in his work mirrors the intermediate state of reality that surrounds us in the world outside of his creations. If you were to see Fu Shuai’s works scattered in the vicinity of an abandoned factory, most likely you would have walked right past them, habitually regarding them as industrial debris that fit so naturally to the setting. Carefully designed illusions and revealing cues would have gone unnoticed and unappreciated. This hypothetical situation perfectly explains the nature of people's behavior in a modern-day world.

 

Our perception of reality is heavily based on our vision that in the process of evolution has become extremely discriminating. A quick glance allows us to pick up information essential for survival and move through the world efficiently. But what if the environment that surrounds us is permeated with things that routinely mimic textures, flavors, and appearances of other things. Every one of us has a little bit of Fu Shuai inside conjuring up illusions of spaces and materials in areas we inhabit, masquerading our bodies and faces with clothes and make-up, producing food that tastes and looks like something else, utilizing technology to alter virtually anything to project the intensified version of reality to the world, flinging aside the authentic and genuine.  

 

Fu Shuai’s uncanny representations shed light on the illusionist’s  world of effects and appearances outside of his creations. The perplexing visual and cognitive experiences evoked by his work are purifying. Not only does the artist question the boundaries between the painted world and ours, but by identifying complex relationships within his work he lets us become more discerning and aware of the complexities of our world that can’t be grasped quickly and take time to uncover. 

 


 

RECOMMEND

Two cubes 1, Mixed Media on Wood, 93 x 56 cm, 2021

Two cubes 2, Mixed Media on Wood, 83 x 55 cm, 2021

Two cubes 3, Mixed Media on Wood, 58 x 87cm, 2021

Four cubes 1, Mixed Media on Wood, 88 x 55 cm + 89 x 55 cm, 2020

Four cubes 2, Mixed Media on Wood, 88 x 59 cm + 89 x 59 cm, 2020

Five cubes, Mixed Media on Wood, 89 x 45 cm + 88 x 44 cm, 2021

Cube-Crack 1, Mixed Media on Wood, 53 x 59 x 4.5 cm, 2020

Cube-Crack 2, Mixed Media on Wood, 60 x 60 x 4.5 cm, 2020

Cube-Crack 3, Mixed Media on Wood 62 x 56 x 4.5 cm, 2020

Cube-Crack 4, Mixed Media on Wood 62 x 56 x 4.5 cm, 2020

Cube-Tear 2, Mixed Media on Acrylic board, 76 x 60 cm + 76 x 57 cm ,2020

Cube-Tear 1, Mixed Media on Acrylic board, 55 x 77 cm + 34 x 30 cm, 2020

Tear research 1, Mixed Media on Wood, 49 x 20 cm + 49 x 36 cm, 2020

Tear research 2, Mixed Media on Wood, 45 x 25 cm + 44.5 x 29.5 cm, 2020

Tear research 3, Mixed Media on Wood, 80 x 43 cm + 85 cm x 55 cm, 2020

Tear research 4, Mixed Media on Wood, 39.5 x 50 cm + 25.5 x 50 cm, 2020

Light leak-fissure 1, Mixed Media on Wood, 50 x 40 cm, 2020

Light leak-fissure 2, Mixed Media on Wood, 50 x 40 cm, 2020

Light leak-fissure 3, Mixed Media on Wood, 50 x 40 cm, 2020

Light leak-fissure 4, Mixed Media on Wood, 50 x 40 cm, 2020

Light leak-fissure 5, Mixed Media on Wood, 50 x 40 cm, 2020

Light leak-fissure 6, Mixed Media on Wood, 80 x 60 cm, 2020

Light leak-fissure 7, Mixed Media on Wood, 80 x 60 cm, 2020

Light leak-fissure 8, Mixed Media on Wood, D:60 cm, 2020

Tear-debris, Mixed Media on Wood 41.5 x 42.5cm +73 x 49 cm, 2021

Flod-Open, Mixed Media on Wood 88 x 43 x 4.5 cm, 2020

Cube research-Tear 1, Mixed Media on Paper, 39 x 55 cm, 2021

Cube research-Tear 2, Mixed Media on Paper, 39 x 55 cm, 2021

Cube research-Tear 3, Mixed Media on Paper, 39 x 55 cm, 2021

Cube research-Tear 4, Mixed Media on Paper, 39 x 55 cm, 2021

Cube research-Tear 5, Mixed Media on Paper, 39 x 55 cm, 2021

Cube research-Tear 6, Mixed Media on Paper, 39 x 55 cm, 2021

Cube research-Tear 7, Mixed Media on Paper, 39 x 55 cm, 2021

Cube research-Tear 8, Mixed Media on Paper, 39 x 55 cm, 2021

Cube research-Tear 9, Mixed Media on Paper, 39 x 55 cm, 2021

Cube research-Tear 10, Mixed Media on Paper, 39 x 55 cm, 2021

Cube research-Tear 11, Mixed Media on Paper, 39 x 55 cm, 2021

Cube research-Tear 12, Mixed Media on Paper, 39 x 55 cm, 2021

RIPPED EDGES, RESTORED PERSPECTIVES

By Liya Prilipko

 

Those who have seen Fu Shuai’s work once will instantly recognize it again. For years he has been committed to building a pictorial syntax that could facilitate his research and reveal complex perceptual relationships of people to their observed reality, the relationship of reality to illusion, and their points of convergence and divergence.

 

Albeit seemingly straightforward appearance, Fu Shuai’s works reward a mindful observer with baffling impressions. Crisp lines, laconic forms, extraordinary rich visual textures, superb manipulation of colors, precise references to the material world and uncanny depiction of real-life processes of corrosion and dilapidation, illusion of volume, light, indentation or protrusion, illusion of an illusion, dramatic fluorescent accents, and, very recently added to his pictorial vocabulary, acutely realistic renderings of tearing on materials, - all compose his distinguishing pictorial ecosystem of multifaceted conceptually and visually contradictory relationships. 

 

Fu Shuai’s hyper-real portrayals of rusted metal surfaces and convincing visual illusions of volumetric forms instinctively create an impulse in the brain to reach out and touch the surface or to change a vantage point to make sure that what our eyes and mind perceive is what we really are looking at. Fu Shuai achieves such effects through approaching every square inch of his work with equal precision, crystalizing his imagery, without hesitating to resort to technological advancements of the 21st century, if needs be. As a result, his work goes beyond realism into an area similar to trompe-l'oeil, similar but not identical, as, for Fu Shuai, it is never the goal to mislead his viewer. On the contrary, the conception comes to a full realization when the viewer identifies the visual trickery that the artist has scrupulously incorporated. Fu Shuai intentionally designs scenarios where precisely crafted illusions get exposed by other visual cues.

 

He creates with the viewer in mind, to the point that his works exist less as objects to be examined than as generators of perceptual responses in the eyes and mind of the viewer. His entire creative process is dictated by this final goal, starting from the meticulous time- and labor-intensive procedure of creating a paper that animates his work and gives it its incredible texture, to learning the 3D modeling software to give his forms the most natural lighting effects, to employing laser cutter to recreate the most natural and spontaneous effect of tearing and to produce ‘iron nails’, with the 3D printer, which when attached to the artwork add physical volume to otherwise flat surfaces. 

 

The light and shadow effect, first modeled in 3D software and painted later on the surface, evokes the illusion of solidly three-dimensional objects, be it a single cube, two cubes hovering in the space, or a tower of stacked up cubes. For those who have not come across Fu Shuai’s work before, it is important to mention, that, as his previous series have proven, the artist’s sense of perspective is indisputable without having to resort to digital manipulation. It is the sheer act of turning to technology to facilitate the absolute precision in the portrayal of an illuminated object that matters here because it is this exact precision that Fu Shuai unmasks as an illusion with the visual cue which we are about to discuss. By creating a distance between the artwork and the wall it is hung on, he prepares a scenario in which the work itself casts a shadow on the surface outside of its boundaries. With some of the works, the artist goes a step further and covers the back with fluorescent paint thus causing old rusty metal surfaces to produce a fluorescent glow on the wall. Strikingly out-of-place fluorescent accents in his work are the metaphor for the ubiquitous presence of virtual reality that co-exists dangerously close with the reality of our tangible world. In some of the series, the fluorescent pink, yellow, and orange lightning-like beams dissect the hard rusty surfaces of the metal sheets, which brings us to the next pictographic oxymoron. 

 

In the Light Leak and Cube Research – Rend series, Fu Shuai deepens his visual puzzle by placing one illusion next to the other. Eerily palpable hard corroded metal pieces and cubes are torn apart like thin sheets of paper. In some of the works, pieces of metal seem to have been peeled off the surface in the most unlikely fashion. Once again by means of utilizing digitally controlled technology, in this case, a laser cutting machine, to produce an accurate rendering of ripped paper edges, Fu Shuai implants a visual cue that exposes yet another precisely crafted visual inconsistency. 

 

By establishing such contradictory physical and conceptual relationships between various aspects of his work, Fu Shuai places it in an intermediate position between two- and the three-dimensional world, between painterly and sculptural realm, referring to it as 2 ½ D.   

 

Not only speaking from the stance of portrayed three-dimensionality and materiality but also deliberating on the technical and physical qualities, none of Fu Shuai’s works are entirely flat. Due to the distance that sets them away from the wall, most of the works expand beyond the borders of the flat surface producing a shadow on the physical space around them. In those works that don’t, as a means of defying the flatness of the picture plane, Fu Shuai incorporates 3D printed elements that look like nails hammered through the surface of the picture.  

 

The 2 ½ D that Fu Shuai refers to in his work mirrors the intermediate state of reality that surrounds us in the world outside of his creations. If you were to see Fu Shuai’s works scattered in the vicinity of an abandoned factory, most likely you would have walked right past them, habitually regarding them as industrial debris that fit so naturally to the setting. Carefully designed illusions and revealing cues would have gone unnoticed and unappreciated. This hypothetical situation perfectly explains the nature of people's behavior in a modern-day world.

 

Our perception of reality is heavily based on our vision that in the process of evolution has become extremely discriminating. A quick glance allows us to pick up information essential for survival and move through the world efficiently. But what if the environment that surrounds us is permeated with things that routinely mimic textures, flavors, and appearances of other things. Every one of us has a little bit of Fu Shuai inside conjuring up illusions of spaces and materials in areas we inhabit, masquerading our bodies and faces with clothes and make-up, producing food that tastes and looks like something else, utilizing technology to alter virtually anything to project the intensified version of reality to the world, flinging aside the authentic and genuine.  

 

Fu Shuai’s uncanny representations shed light on the illusionist’s  world of effects and appearances outside of his creations. The perplexing visual and cognitive experiences evoked by his work are purifying. Not only does the artist question the boundaries between the painted world and ours, but by identifying complex relationships within his work he lets us become more discerning and aware of the complexities of our world that can’t be grasped quickly and take time to uncover. 

 


 

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