Exhibition Opening – Zhang Chi: Extra (Ordinary)

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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Small Gallery is delighted to present the debut solo exhibition of artist Zhang Chi. With a diverse body of work spanning watercolour landscapes, sculpture and Chinese calligraphy, Zhang Chi’s minor art practice carries with it a sense of incompleteness and shows us that the most extraordinary details paradoxically emerge in the ordinary. A cloud, a cup of afternoon tea and a street corner: these quotidian, seemingly insignificant fragments of everyday life are elevated into something transcendent, whispering to us. For this exhibition, calligraphic imagination takes root in the most unexpected corners of Small Gallery, putting into play the relations between visibility and invisibility, between exhibition and non-exhibition spaces, and between art creation and curation.

The opening includes the artist's guided tour within the gallery space. Please R.S.V.P. via Eventbrite if you want to attend the opening.

Schedules

13 April 2024 (Saturday)

2:30 pm door opens

3:00 pm - 3: 45 pm artist's guided tour

3:45 pm - 5:00 pm reception

About the Artist

Zhang Chi is a Scotland-based political scientist and artist. She is particularly intrigued by the artistic forms of political communication.

Zhang Chi has been trained as a calligraphy artist since her early childhood. The dance of the brush and lines resonated with her analytical mind throughout her doctoral education in the UK. During her time as a doctoral student, she also completed short courses at the Royal Academy of Art and Leeds Arts University (formerly known as Leeds College of Art). She became addicted to watercolour where her creativity found a medium to express itself. Her work captures the fleeting moments of serendipity, to converse with the ephemeral using each stroke and wash of colour, to discern the extraordinary within the ordinary. Employing a deliberately restrained palette, she seeks to distil her emotions in a quiet celebration of solitude.

Zhang Chi is currently an associate lecturer at the University of St Andrews.

About the Curator

Panpan Yang's curatorial work centres on the redefinition of spaces and the interplay between different media. She received her PhD from the University of Chicago, and is currently a lecturer (assistant professor) in the arts and visual cultures of modern China at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. From 2023 to 2025, she is the Principal Investigator of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) research project on calligraphic imagination in contemporary Chinese art and emergent media. One of her recent curatorial projects was 'The Story of the Stone: Found Calligraphy', which was on display at Brunei Gallery from 19 July to 23 September 2023.

About Small Gallery 斯磨畫廊

A 1920s semi-detached period house transformed into a gallery, Small Gallery is a not-for-project experimental art space in North London. Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Small Gallery stands out in London's vibrant gallery scene for its close ties to top-tier art historians and museum curators, especially in the Asian art circle.

Small Gallery is named as such not only because it is literally small but also because 'small' sounds like sīmó 斯磨, meaning 'intimate' in Chinese. It represents a close working relationship, an alternative to the commercial model of mainstream galleries, and an effort to decolonise the contemporary practices of exhibition and display.

Small Gallery is only a three-minute walk from Totteridge & Whetstone Station.

Address: 12 Blakeney Close, London N20 9LH

Other than its events and openings, Small Gallery runs by appointment only.

https://www.smallgallerylondon.com/

About the Gallery Entrance

Please enter Small Gallery through its back garden, where you will encounter a site-specific installation composed of an array of stones - found, arranged and rearranged by world-renowned contemporary artists Qu Leilei and Caroline Deane. The textures of the stones strikingly resemble the letters in the English alphabet. Together, the stones spell out 's-M-A-l-l G-A-l-l-E-r-y.'

Acknowledgement

Small Gallery gratefully acknowledges the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) which generously funds the exhibition and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London for institutional support.

Location: 
12 Blakeney Close, London N20 9LH
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