MA JUN. TRUE PORCELAIN
HUBERTUS HAMM, FELIX REHFELD, MARTIN SPENGLER
Curated by Alexandra Grimmer
2022.08.12. - 2022.11.04.
Pfeuferstraße 38, Munich
On Friday, August 12, the exhibition "TRUE PORCELAIN" opens at "Pfeufer 38" with objects by the Chinese artist Ma Jun ⻢军 and three Munich artists: Hubertus Hamm, Felix Rehfeld, Martin Spengler who are, every one of them reflecting a certain aspect of Ma Jun’s oeuvre in their works. This exhibition is presented by Blue Mountain Art Collection (BMCA) in collaboration with Pfeufer38.
The Chinese art of magnificently painted porcelain objects was coveted by the European courts as excellent decoration. What the vessels contained was nonetheless something immaterial: the imagination of the foreign. For an enigmatic Far East, the high bourgeois connoisseur formed the ethnography of the exotic as a compensation on the surface with the term chinoiserie.
The term of "True Porcelain“ originates from the 17th and 18th centuries when Chinese ceramics entered Europe as luxury items. Europeans tried to find a way of copying porcelain but were not very successful until they discovered 'kaolin clay'. For this reason Europeans called ceramics from China 'True Porcelain’. Ma Jun choose this exhibition title with a twinkle of an eye, in a form of flirtation with history.“
The sculptor Ma Jun also comments on the surface. He paints Western consumer goods and counteracts a European concept of freedom that has become fixed in the fetish and lost its imagination.
The artists Hubertus Hamm, Felix Rehfeld and Martin Spengler contrast this with works that push out of the surface or even reflect distortions under the pressure of their underground.
Ma Jun calls his objects „New China Series". On the surface of his "consumer goods", the painted glazing celebrates a festival of multiplicity, of fullness of existence, of uselessness. The fetish, the saloon car, the radio player, the flacon is either popped into the ironic from the surface or the coveted product goes limp in its original market value under a numbing pastoral stroke. A moment of standstill, the metaphorical overrides the theoretical. To speak with the philosopher Deleuze: In the moment of unproductivity, the organless body of production acquires an artificial décor that overwrites, inverts its theory of capital emanating from production. The shop window of commodities is the image carrier of a counter-position that leads the material desire of freedom into the absurd. The commodity has disappeared. In a cryptic way, this even expresses a paradoxical kinship to Marcel Duchamp, who became famous in China after the 1980s.
The exhibition at Pfeufer38 showcases 12 porcelain works together with one of the 2 „Porcelain Cars“ in spectacular size. All works from the holdings of BMCA Collection. The confrontation of Ma Jun’s objects with works by the 3 renown Munich artists will raise new ways of interpretation - of the Chinese and of the western approach.