Datura in Spring

April 22nd - May 21st, 2023

FIR Gallery is pleased to launch group exhibition Datura in Spring, curated by young curator Yuzhuo Zhang, featuring seven artists from all over the world. The roster includes Tokyo-based French artist Geoffrey Bouillot, Japanese artist Mogu Takahashi, Canadian artist Megan Ellen MacDonald, three Korean artists Jade Kim, Iwai and Ahyoung Ryu, and Xi’an-based artist He Tianqi (China). These artists, with their different visual languages, creative outlooks, cultural backgrounds, individual concerns and social marks, also have a lot in common, such as popular elements, cartoon images, bright colors, etc. Their paintings generate the symbiosis, contrast and intertext in terms of the bright and emotional visual presentation as well as the serious and rational personal thinking.

Datura is a poisonous plant with many species and different colors. Because of its unique appearance, it attracts people to stop and admire it, but it could not be approached. Datura’s appearance contrasts with her poisonous nature. The word “Datura” has complex meanings and functions in different contexts. It carries highly toxic substances throughout the body and is also a medical herb. It has various meanings in flower languages. Originating in India, it also contains a strong religious mystery. Spring gives people a sense of harmony with the recovery of all things including loads of flowers. Datura seeds in spring and blossoms in summer and autumn. The “Spring” and “Datura” is logical when placed together, but in the spirit and meaning there also exists the contrast. These artworks also give people this kind of multiple feelings, the combination of bright colors, cartoon images and cartoon techniques, etc., at first glance, gives us a pleasant sense of relaxation, and after careful appreciation, you can perceive that behind the visual appearance of naive childlike interest and pop trend there is a rhetorical inquiry and reflection on the true reality.


About the Curator

Yuzhuo Zhang (Mark) is originally from the Capital of Pottery – Yixing, China. He received BA in Art History and MA in Art History at the Nanjing University of the Arts(NUA) in 2015 and 2019. Zhang earned MFA in Curatorial Practice from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2018. He was the lead organizer of MICA GradEx, an organization dedicated to providing grad students with professional solo and group exhibitions. Zhang curated Lucio Pozzi’s performance — A Declaration in Patchameena at Gallery CA (Baltimore)on March 2018. Zhang also curated the Yixing city’s first formal contemporary art group exhibition — Variation | Youth Art Since the Millennium at Yixing Art Museum. Zhang’s curatorial project Empathy Zone (Washington DC & Beijing) was supported by DC Sister City Grant. Zhang was recently invited as the guest lecturer in Nanjing University Of Finance & Economics (NUFE)、Nanjing University of the Arts (NUA)、Changshu Institute of Technology. Before becoming the full-time curator for at Deji Art museum, China, Zhang was working at the exhibition and curatorial department at LACE(Los Angles Contemporary Exhibitions)and 18th Street Arts Center in Los Angeles. Zhang was now the long-term guest curator for BananaArtSpace and RCM Art Museum in China. His curatorial project has been shown nationally and internationally including Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Baltimore, and China (Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Taizhou, Wuxi, Guangzhou, Zhuhai). Zhang lives and works in Los Angeles, Shanghai, Nanjing and Beijing.

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