German artist sprays colors on Guangzhou

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German artist Katharina Grosse's work, Showroom, displayed at her ongoing Guangzhou exhibition. [PHOTO BY ZHU RUI/FOR CHINA DAILY]

German artist Katharina Grosse says when she was a child, she often played a game in her head before getting up in the morning. She says she imagined a painting brush with which she would cover all the shadows on the wall, the windowsill, the lamp and elsewhere.

Years later, Grosse would develop that childhood "obsession" into an individual approach to painting that is central to her creations. But rather than grabbing a brush from her childhood imagination, Grosse primarily uses a spray gun to spread vibrant colors directly on the interiors and exteriors of buildings and other objects.

Grosse uses a rich scheme of colors, which presents an explosive visual effect at first sight, and then gives a soothing touch as one looks at her work for a while.

She often embraces the audience in an all-immersive environment - they can walk into her work, step on it, get lost in it or be absorbed by it.

And her work can engage viewers in a discussion about space and boundaries.

Grosse is now inviting people in Guangzhou into her colorful world of a maze at a solo exhibition, Mumbling Mud, at chi K11 art space through June 2.

The exhibition first came to chi K11 art museum, Shanghai. And during its three-month duration which ended Feb 24, visitors commented on social media that they were caught by the dynamics and mystery built by colors, as well as a sense of clashes between Grosse's painted works and the environment.

Stomach, a stunning work shown in Shanghai, is also installed at the Guangzhou exhibition.

For the work, hundreds of meters of fabric, on which Grosse orchestras a symphony of colors, falls from the ceiling of the art space and covers the floor to form an encircled drape.

The heavy, coarse cloth and a labyrinth of folds on it make people entering feel both embraced and lost, as they try to find their way out of the drape through several exits.

When they succeed, they are confronted by another work, Showroom, in which colors are sprayed on a set of furniture and a rank of shelves filled with books and magazines donated by people.

Grosse allows the audience to revise their perceptions of painting, sculpture and architecture. The exhibition's curator Venus Lau says visitors are "likely to experience an overwhelming ungroundedness" in Grosse's works.

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