P420 is pleased to announce the opening of P4202, a new projectspace devoted to a great extent to the discovery of young and emerging artists,thanks to a program running parallel to the main activities of the gallery. Thecarefully selected artists, some of whom are very young, will have thepossibility to make a debut on a hybrid exhibition platform, simultaneouslylive and online, which we might call “onlife,” to borrow an apt definition fromthe philosopher Luciano Floridi. P4202 intends to break down the barriers between virtualand real, in a period in which the enjoyment of art can be said to be intermodaland fluid, alternating gallery visits and social networks, exhibitions andwebsites, art fairs and newsletters. A democratic space, open to everyone fromany location; a space that is the outcome of technique, but with lowtechnological content, because the focus is on the artists and the works, whichin any case can also be seen at any time, physically, inside the gallery.
On Wednesday 1December, P4202 presents a solo exhibition by ShafeiXia (ShaoXing,China, 1989) titled Welcome to my show, which contains a new cycle of works – eight in all – specifically madefor the occasion, painted on sandalwood paper with canvas backing.
Just two months ago, Shafei completedher studies at the Academy of Fine Arts inBologna, with a thesis titled TheWorld is the Circus,paraphrasing a well-known remark of Federico Fellini. The cradle of all formsof entertainment, capable of eliciting peals of laughter and deep emotionalengagement, of flooding huge tents with light or plunging them into pitchdarkness, the circus is the metaphor of life, “perhaps simply its abbreviation,”the artist writes, adding that it “is a marvelous memory of childhood, and amarvelous fantasy of adulthood.”
“The main theme of her works is love,” MauraPozzati indicates in an essay written as an introduction to the artist,“experienced as desire, jealousy and violence, represented explicitly or symbolically, depending onthe case, but nevertheless omnipresent.” Hence Shafei’s circus isinhabited by a myriad of figures, undressed acrobats, lovers making love, tigers,cheetahs and animals of all kinds. All this is narrated without every losingthe delicate treatment of the faces, of the depiction of settings, thedescription of nude bodies, movements and poses.
ShafeiXia was born in ShaoXing, China, in 1989. After graduating in set design from ChongQing University, in 2013 she turned down a steadyjob in her native city to move to Shanghai, where after various experiences herfirst sale of a work enabled her to “catch the scent of freedom in the air,” asshe writes. She moved to Bologna and earned a degree at the Fine Arts Academyin 2020. In 2019 she won the Talent Prize of Fondazione Zucchelli per l’Arte.