展览地址：70 John st. Brooklyn, NYC
Sponsor: Undercurrent Gallery, New York
OpeningReception:5-9 PM, December 4th, 2020
ExhibitionDate: December 4th, 2020 — January 2nd, 2021
Thursday — Sunday,1 –7PM
ExhibitionAddress: 70 John St. Brooklyn, NYC
How long, and to what degree, must a being imprint itself upon the geometries of our lived architecture before imparting suggestions of a warm body? In the ten paintings that comprise Homeless, Loy Luo’s solo exhibition with Undercurrent, the artist portrays a faded landscape that reveals an indeterminate existence within and between hegemonic structures. With an unquiet, almost compulsive painterly hand, Luo creates paintings whose medium seems to molder onto the panels, recording our complicity in the peripheralization of living beings. Disintegration comes to its visual crescendo where the delineation between body and locale seems to muddy and blur, having us witness the dissolution of human bodies. In pieces such as Entanglement, and The Troubadour, we see all supportive infrastructure fall away, leaving the figure in a constant flux of disintegration, the anonymity of the individual reflecting the formal breakdown of the environment. Stacked upon wooden blocks, Luo’s paintings refute their status as mere aesthetic depiction of a scene, instead becoming intrinsically linked with the gallery’s scaffolding and thus insisting upon our participation both within and around these stories of isolation. In these heavy cityscapes, Luo tenderly surfaces figures who have been overlooked and inserts them in corporeality we cannot help but face.
Many things can be said about the city of New York but the most applicable here would be an allegiance to the unceasing restructuring of its buildings and the lives within them: as De Certeau describes it, a constant verticality in which those deemed unfit are swiftly discarded. As the city performs relentless alterations, its inhabitants strain to survive inside fragile micro-diasporas. Those who inhabit the chasm between public and private space embody an indeterminacy that, at best, defies co-option and, at worst, is testament to political failure. Luo’s metaphysical preoccupations with human existence and her quiet, agile handling of the medium elicit a needling dis-ease in her viewer. Faceless and solitary, the boundaries between person and infrastructure becomes indissoluble, causing the figure to recede into the grid of the city. We know these solitary figures from our daily movements around the city and recognize our disengagement from them. As the artist centralizes faceless histories in her impersonal cityscapes; we grapple with a choice: do we intervene in the inevitable disintegration of these figures into their encroaching backgrounds or simply watch from afar? Luo’s figures, often in stasis, stand outside of both the demands and rewards of conditioned human behavior, pushing us to question our accession to this system.
图：游吟诗人 综合材料 36×48cm 2020
IMAGE：Troubadour Mixed Media,36×48cm,2020
The images of New York’s homeless shocked me. In this so-called civilized world that human beings are proud of, the scenes of underclass life both greatly appalled me and also inspired my passion for creation. I often see homeless people with mental health problems dancing, chanting loudly and walking proudly down the street. They remind me of ancient minstrels, so whenever I see them, I am always in awe. I have always believed that artists are also born homeless, and they also have various psychological problems, because they are more sensitive to the problems of their own times than ordinary people.
When I arrived in New York in January 2020, a sudden outbreak brought travelers like me an unprecedented feeling of homelessness. At first, when news of the outbreak came from China, relatives and friends advised me not to return home out of concern. Two months later, when New Yorkbecame the center of the epidemic, my friends and family wanted me not to go home out of concern for the safety of others at home. Later, there were a variety of obstacles such as canceled flights, sky-high ticket prices, quarantine testing standards, etc., to prevent people from returning. The acute challenge of the epidemic to family relationships and relations to others, and the unusual entanglements and wounds it has caused, is beyond the depth of previous thinkers’ thinking about human nature.
The”faceless” feature of these paintings should be consistent with the confused feeling brought about by the loss of identity during this unique time, and is also a pun on the human notion of dignity. The inspiration for these works originally came from my observations in the original panic of the epidemic: while most people had used masks to protect themselves from the virus, the homeless didn’t wear masks over their faces. It occurred to me that those who mask their true selves often succeed in society, while those who reveal their true selves often fail, which raises doubts about the identity in the social system. And when I saw the hunchback body of”Quasimodo” standing, sculptural and solemn, or the lonely figure of“Troubadour” on the historical ruins, I saw the connection between the useless presence defined by the secular social order and the useless as articulated by Chinese classical philosophy on the inherent value of the useless.
In fact, aside from the fact that some people have been displaced and have to sleep in public Spaces, in tents, sleeping bags and even cardboard boxes, the epidemic has also brought the experience of homelessness to countless others: we eat out, rest on street steps, have no toilets to use, and are often always shamefully alone……