Gao Xiaowu @ The Opposite House

  The Opposite House’s newest art installation, Soft Violence, a collection of selected works from popular local artist Gao Xiaowu, is being presented in the property’s atrium through March 30.

Gao Xiaowu, a native of China’s Fujian province, is a graduate of the Central Academy of Fine Arts’ sculpture department. His solo and group exhibitions have been widely displayed in Beijing, Shanghai, Australia, Korea and Taiwan. Gao currently lives and works in Beijing and his unique interpretations are a natural fit for the culture- and style-centric Opposite House.

Gao’s Soft Violence series at The Opposite House includes Chromosome, where he examines the moment of birth with highly realistic larger-than-life newborn baby sculptures, each measuring 9 ft. in height. The sculptures are depicted at the time of birth, in a state of innocence, shielded from negativity and resistance from the real world (vs simply existing in a state of cuteness). Gao views a child’s development process as experiences that struggle against the “soft violence” of an intense pace of work, tight urban spaces, inflationary pressures and the ubiquitous control of information.

Discrepancy, at 5 ft. in diameter and 11 ft. tall, is a personal reflection of Gao’s childhood and his struggle to find a balance between the Buddhist philosophy of “staying aloof from worldly affairs” and “agreement with worldly affairs.” The bottom half of Discrepancy is a screw precariously balanced in motion. Sitting cross-legged on top of the screw is a plump, affable Buddha, a contrast to the instability of the screw. The visual contrast alludes to the confrontation of the thinking space of Zen meditation and the disturbing nature of actual reality. The Buddha represents the calmness above the clouds, where peace has transcended the turbulence below it.