Sometimes you just have to throw out the standard way of doing things and break the rules. Perfectly-lit white-walled galleries have their place, but some art needs an environment that is darker and more subtle, such as the current exhibition of the Korean artist Yun Hyong-keun hung on decaying brick walls in dark spaces of the Palazzo Fortuni in Venice. At S|2′s most recent exhibition, the white walls were extinguished to allow the colours and shapes of Chinese artist Huang Rui’s paintings to glow out of the canvases and thus to see his work at its best in the exhibition ‘Wild Children’.
Huang Rui (born 1952) is a rebel. He was a founding member of the art group ‘The Stars’, another member being Ai Weiwei, an art collective which between 1979 and 1983 challenged artistic censorship after the Cultural Revolution and has continued throughout his career to be a champion of free expression, despite the continual threat of government censorship. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the 798 Art Zone, established in 2002, threatened with demolition in 2004 and 2005 and finally promoted by the Government as the first protected art district in China.
Huang Rui has an affection for his paintings as a father has for his children, hence the title of the exhibition which reflects his view of it being a family reunion of his children.