Chambers Fine Art (Red No.1-D, Caochangdi, Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100015), March 7–May 3, 2015
GAMA places great emphasis on creating a unique identity for himself. He refuses to reveal his true name to me, despite our shared roots in Inner Mongolia. He only goes into a few details about the “nomadic lifestyle” of his youth—the artist grew up in the Donghe District of Baotou (an industrial city in northern China), his aunt was a shaman, and he later went abroad to Germany to study painting, settling in Berlin. Objectively speaking, his paintings are quite good; even if he lacked a unique identity or “supernatural” relations, the paintings alone would be enough to set this artist apart from the crowd. However, these details are not irrelevant, because this constant awareness of identity is the artist’s impetus for maintaining in balanced counterpoint several dualistic elements: natural scenery and electronic visuals, uninhibited expressionism and fantastical surrealism, cramped interiors and expansive wilderness—these dichotomies co-exist within the narrative of the artist’s compositions, transforming and playing off each other. In addition, the formal language of his paintings is clearly referential in its direction. In “The Room” (2012), the viewer may glimpse the loneliness and alienation of urban life so often depicted by Edward Hopper, while in “Guest Room” (2012) one finds the hazy brushstrokes of Gerhard Richter, and discovers Matthew Barney’s iconic monstrosities in “The Holy Bible #2” (2012-14).
It is even highly likely that the floorboards depicted in his paintings may have René Magritte as their progenitor. Each stroke of the artist’s brush alludes to renowned artists, giving rise to a sense of heritage and connection; but in the images he has created, one finds that cultural identity is the eternal land of the artist’s exploration and the realm of his deep-seated anxiety.