Chen Han x Gideon Rubin|Emotional Fragments: Beijing

26 June - 14 August 2021

Gideon Rubin, born in Tel Aviv, Israel, usually takes his inspiration from magazine photos and vintage albums. Sad children, lonely boys and girls, naked women, girls with high ponytailed hair and figures turned back are the subjects he often depicts. Childhood, family, memories and inexplicable psychological states are topics that Rubin often explores. Since 2000, Rubin’s works have become less specific with regards to time, location and circumstance. The facial information of his characters have also been erased. This system deletes the faces of the subjects and makes the audience focus on their structure instead. The method of establishing new emotional connections with hairstyle, accessories, body posture is continuously at the core of his work, driving his audience to read his works in a particular way. The spectator will need to carefully stare at the division of bright colours to distinguish the key points, and then reassemble a brand-new story based on their own experience and general knowledge.


Chen Han’s works in this exhibition have made new breakthroughs from his past works. Although he still focuses on portraying the emotions of the characters, this time he abandons the tensions and conflicts palpable in closed environments. Instead, he has moved the narratives of the stories to more open natural spaces and has stopped focusing on depicting specific objects - the same "people" have lost their facial and identity specificities. This is the first time the artist has combined "nature" and characters in recent years. Different situations and brand-new spatial atmospheres highlight the different psychological states of the subjects, and at the same time show that the artist wants to communicate with the audience directly by expressing his own psychological variations.


Chen Han was born in Shenyang, China in 1973. He graduated from the Shenyang Luxun Academy of Fine Arts in 2005. He currently lives and works between Shenyang and Beijing. Chen Han's gentle and ambiguous painting style is apt at suggesting a feeling of substitution in the viewer. He can avoid the traces of technique from the creative process, thus highlighting a physical artistic texture. Chen Han's brushwork is more traditional but remains firm and powerful, and he is accustomed to painting with soft and cool colours that bring out his inner feelings. His works have been exhibited in many art institutions and fairs at home and abroad, including Shenyang Luxun Academy of Fine Arts Art Museum, Red Roof Gallery, Shanghai M50 Creative Park, Brussels International Art Fair in Belgium, Taipei Art Fair, Shanghai West Bund Design and Art Expo etc.


Gideon Rubin was born in Tel Aviv, Israel in 1973. He graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York in 1999, and received a master's degree from the Slade School of Fine Arts, the University of London in 2002. He currently lives and works in London. Rubin's work is about the memory of something that is about to disappear, hovering between turbulence and evanescence. The portraits in his paintings deliberately remove the facial features of the person, inviting the audience to use their memory to complete the missing details, and through this "dialogue" he establishes a private connection between the work and the viewer, arousing empathy and a feeling of nostalgia. Rubin's works have been exhibited and collected by many important art institutions in the world, including Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art in Israel, Freud Museum in London, Rubin Museum in Tel Aviv, FLAG Art Fund in New York, Glasgow Mackintosh Sh Museum, Wolinden Museum, The Hague, The Netherlands, McEvoy Art Foundation in San Francisco, The Zabludowicz Collection in London, Frances Foundation in France, etc.