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MASSIMODECARLO is pleased to present A Carnival in the Forest, Xiyao Wang’s first UK solo exhibition with the gallery.

Elegy for the Summer 

Summer utters  
About his sudden departure  
Fly-by lake will endlessly remember the body temperature
The first summer night I saw shooting stars 
Two different you appear in intertwined memories 
A full moon breaks through the nightmare of stars 
Impulsively flipped 
Once again, I sink into the swirl of love unprepared 
Beyond expectation, I see sunset in gloomy shades  
With golden thorns pierce reddening clouds   
Secluded island, splendid burning sun 
I lost my blue glass ring
On a trip to the deep sea
She told me the secret of immortality 
A carnival in the forest
We forget ourselves 
Party on my doorstep 
We shall join only till nightfall  

3rd September 2022 
Xiyao in Berlin

The works presented by Xiyao Wang in A Carnival in the Forest were painted in the transitional period from summer to fall when the scorching sun no longer burns and before the harsh winter frosts its surroundings. A Carnival in the Forest – title taken from a series of works in the exhibition – is a snapshot of a moment in time, reminiscent of fleeting memories and vanishing dreams. 

Wang, Chinese-born and Berlin-based, composes ethereal large-scale canvases that echo a visual choreography of movements and hues. Large, spontaneous, and chaotic, Wang’s gestures are dispersed in the spatial arrangement as improvised dance steps. Whether planned or performed on the spot, the artist’s erratic brushstrokes develop on the canvas like musical notes from a dense melodic score.

Speedily drawn or gently smudged, dragged or erased, Wang’s lines are, as she explains, “extensions of her body, of my limbs”. Continuing her train of thought, extending the reach of her hands, the brushstrokes appear as individual stories unfazed by the limits of the canvas. Endless lines pile up on each other, fading and merging, each bearing its own narratives, like visual records of experienced or imagined moments.

Blurred traces of reality, Wang’s paintings allude to the figurative but fail legibility. One can glimpse the outline of spaces, objects and faces, but ultimately the shapes fade away in a dreamlike composition that flows on the canvas like a water stream. Freed and unrestricted, the artist draws lines that do not aspire to portray the outside world but have the pressing need to define a movement on an immobile canvas.

Whether influenced by the calligraphic and cryptic landscapes of Cy Twombly or Taoist art and ancient Chinese pictorial traditions, Wang conceived a style that combines her Eastern origins and Western upbringing. At the intersection of cultures, the artist's pictorial language eludes definition and leads the viewer into a dimension where reality transitioned into something imaginary. 

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