Born in 1971, Chen Xiaoyun received classical training in China Academy of Art's Department of Chinese Painting. Inspired by the experimental art scene in Hangzhou, Chen committed his art to creative imageries - metaphorical images and poetic effects abound in his video collections. Going forward, He also experimented with various mediums befitting specific themes.
Oil on canvas The Amateur Form of Space is Just Like Carelessly Squeezing Subconscious Into Autumn (Lot 322) was one of the showpieces in Chen's 2012 solo exhibition, Zhuiku Tablet Annotations. Chen Xiaoyun starts a game of hunt for meaning through the fiddling with fallen branches, and titles of his photos as image-texts in his fictitious book. Through image annotations, Chen borrows the expressive syntax from this form of classic literature, skillfully alludes to rhetoric and emotional undertones of the book as the creative premise for his paintings and photography. In doing so, he imagines a world of wilt and degradation rife with textual awareness. Chen calls 'withered branches' - a recurrent theme in his collections - an integral part of his life: 'I step on a sea of dried-up, fallen branches and twigs in late fall and winter every day. I feel their existence... the purpose for my extensive use of fallen branches in different settings and storytelling is that, I want to initiate a sequential narrative. Fallen branches, as a narrative plotline, become a language, a language of objects.' Chen is immensely interested in the nonlinear narrative structure, and the fusion of different spatiotemporal dimensions; he breaks textual references with a non-conventional approach amid associations between titles and images, guiding viewer's thinking to travel between images and texts.
A series of logistically independent wordings are juxtaposed in this title - The Amateur Form of Space is Just Like Carelessly Squeezing Subconscious Into Autumn - to build a sentence nuanced with purport. The artist further upends rhetoric and sequential conventions of colours and texts, portraying autumn - a season customarily associated with harvest - with cold, rough brushstrokes. The blue, thorny rings are more evocative of the harsh winter than gold-tinged season of autumn. This expression, 'carelessly squeezing,' creeps into viewer's subconscious through its semantics, filling one's understanding of this piece with conflicts.