When You Rise

29 June - 14 August 2022
Ora-Ora is pleased to announce a thrilling new solo show by Beijing-based artist Huang Dan at its Tai Kwun gallery in Hong Kong. The show runs from June 29 to August 7, 2022.
Titled When You Rise, Huang Dan presents her new Gold Series for the first time in a gallery exhibition (some of the series were recently shown at Art Basel Hong Kong in May 2022). The series is made of gold leaf on canvas, which represents a new approach for an artist previously known for her ink on paper. 
The title is a reference to 1969 Beatles’ classic “Golden Slumbers”, a paeon to the carefree days of childhood and the peaceful night of sleep that only a child may know. The lyric “When You Rise” alludes to waking for a new day. In paintings Tranquillity and Composure, the artist portrays that empty midpoint between calm inaction and active agency, which is analogous to the moment of waking. We all leave the world of infancy behind to challenge and navigate the world on our own terms, and “Golden Slumbers” is a title of optimism and of possibility, befitting a new day, and fresh evidence of Huang Dan’s quest to frame her philosophy in bold new ways. 
In When You Rise, Huang Dan  references the use of gold in iconography, and its later contemporary manifestations by artists such as Gustav Klimt. Where gold was once used as a background, bathing the mortal in the shimmering light of heavenly rays, she instead places gold centre stage. 
Her subjects include themes and motifs that are central to Huang Dan’s practice: horses, snakes, monkeys and mountain ranges are all represented. Alchemizing ink into fluid gilt, she continues to deny any narrative or motives on the part of the creatures traced and illustrated. Huang Dan once described this journey towards the minimal, “from much, to half, to less… to none.” In this show, the artist depicts states of separation and of unity with the same dispassionate eye. Even group scenes are devoid of story or intent. Where animals appear together, such as in Parallel and Equanimity, Huang Dan simultaneously radiates the aura of affection and family, whilst continuing on a path towards nothingness and abstraction. 
Installation Views