Galerie Alexandra Saheb
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Stefan Saffer - Don Quichotte, 2006
pencil, colour pencil, gouache on paper, diameter 88 cm


He Sai Bang, Matthew Burbidge, Stefan Saffer, Kei Takemura, Huang Yan

24.06.2006 - 29.07.2006

Five positions from five different countries present landscape imagery at a remove from the usual conventions of the genre. The pieces by He Sai Bang, Matthew Burbidge, Stefan Saffer, Kei Takemura and Huang Yan demonstrate the genres suitability for occasioning dialogue between the artist's own traditions and those of other cultures. The results are poetic works, allowing a rethinking of the landscape genre.

In her large format embroidered piece HAGOROMO, Kei Takemura deploys a motif appropriated from a far eastern legend. A feather dress is hung on a tree by a tennin (an angel like figure) and removed by a fisherman while the tennin is bathing, rendering the angels return to heaven impossible.

With his most recent photo series, Huang Yan combines west European and Asian landscape painting, with the human body assuming the role of the paper support. The painted body is placed before a scenic backdrop showing a repainting of a French landscape. His landscape paintings in traditional Chinese style decorate everyday objects as well as flesh and bones.

He Sai Bang, Stefan Saffer and Matthew Burbidge are producing works especially for this exhibition. Matthew Burbidge creates an oversized landscape model within the gallery space, made up of a multitude of smaller elements amounting to a baroque-ironic garden architecture. In VICTORIANA, the influence of the industrial revolution has already begun to provoke an intensification of the romantic landscape conception of a Thomas Gray or Horace Walpole.

He Sai Bang, although employing traditional Chinese techniques in his ink drawings and gouaches, renounces both an unequivocal perspective and narrative cohesion. The concentrations of agitated lines and ink marks resemble islands distributed across the breadth of the paper support, inclining the observer to search for the particular identity of each formation.

The design techniques employed by Stefan Saffer for his fragile works on paper are rooted in popular domestic tradition. Usually a blank piece of paper serves as support, which is painted and parts of which are cut out. Shifting between the genres of sculpture, painting and drawing, Saffer is always interested in the spaces in between: light and shadow, positive and negative form; while at the same time playing with citations from literature, architecture and pop culture.

Operating within different mediums, the participating artists generate a unique interplay of native and foreign landscape conceptions and their associated mythologies.

The exhibition has been curated in co-operation with Annette Thomas.

He Sai Bang, * 1959 in Shanghai, China. Lives and works in Shanghai.
Matthew Burbidge, * 1970 in Cuckfield, England. Lives and works in Berlin and London.
Stefan Saffer, * 1969 in Forchheim. Lives and works in Berlin and London.
Kei Takemura, * 1975, Tokio, Japan. Lives and works in Berlin.
Huang Yan, * 1966, Jilin, China. Lives and works in Changchun and Beiijing.

Galerie Alexandra Saheb