Taking the previous generation of abstract artists such as Huang Rui in mind, one can consider a particular role in the formation of abstraction as a means to open up new spaces of expression for artists in China. Abstraction is not just another formalist turn in the development of Chinese modern and contemporary art. Rather it is a political statement in considering the important domain of self-expression in art practices in China, and by seeking alternative ways to present the realities of an ever-changing social, political and urban context in China. Artists of the Stars Group clearly considered their political role not just as participation in the Democracy Wall protest movement at Xidan on October 1st, 1979. Instead, the politics of aesthetics were considered as taking the otherwise formalist artistic practice of abstraction and rendering it political through the subversive character of self-expression in China. The search for self-expression and the path to abstraction led to consideration of the essence of the world and of ones surroundings. Huang Rui’s abstraction links to his poetry and to the poetics of aesthetic form.
extract from Huang Rui website
Huang Rui, Democracy Wall preparatory painting , 1980, Oil on paper mounted on board, 55 x 79 cm