“Truth in Distortion” marks French-based Chinese artist’s first solo exhibition in Hong Kong. The artist’s goal to express the meaning of this world through painting is a timeless endeavor. To Cang Yuan, to express meaning is to first understand the tensions and variables that have shaped him—factors such as his Chinese heritage and his move to the West, the weighty emphasis on realism in the Soviet-style art education of his youth, and its clash with the contemporary art scenes in Paris. “Truth in Distortion” is a collection that explores the artist’s journey to resolve the contentions that he has felt in his artistic life, with the resolution that there is perhaps no inherent conflict between seemingly opposing dualities after all. For Cang, in abstraction there is reality, in distortion there is truth. Abstraction—whether in dramatization, reduction, exaggeration, distillation—is a form that allows the experience of life to be understood. Abstraction is but life’s complex hues on canvas.
Cang’s paintings reflect the influence of French painter Bernard Cathelin and Dutch-American expressionist Willem De Kooning. His inspiration is grounded in a sound understanding of Western art and philosophy, but is highly influenced by the profundity and abstruse quality of Chinese tradition and culture.