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LuogoArteContemporanea hosts the solo show of the Chinese artist Tao Han, that well represents the conceptual and creative propensity of the new exhibition space for oriental culture and sensibility. This exhibition takes the form of a mystical and poetic enclave* in time and space, a place to meditate on the destiny of man considered in his being a constitutive part of the universe. The artist makes use of painting as an archetypal language in an attempt to evoke a reminiscence in the viewer, inviting him/her to a spiritual, moral and values contemplation. The affinity between the civilizations of East and West allows Tao to identify a conceptual path in which pictorial practice becomes a means of building a new relationship between present and tradition.

By intervening on the semantic level of the term "enclave" with the substitution of two homophonic characters, so as to pass from the initial literal translation «the land of flight» (飛地) to «not here» (非地), Tao introduces the concept of “void” or “emptiness” (Xū, 虚), which in Eastern philosophy deriving from Taoism represents the necessary condition for the occurrence of any event. On the pictorial surface the artist reproduces the primordial void, common to every living being and an essential prerequisite for all its transformations.

The square format of the canvases refers to earthly experience (in fact, in ancient Chinese cosmography, the inhabited world was depicted as flat and square), inseparable from and complementary to the ultimate reality, expressed by the circle, according to the teaching of Shingon tantric Buddhism which identifies them respectively as form and non-form, full and empty. There is no duality between the material and incorporeal dimension, since the universe is the manifestation of that unique substance from which they take shape and which permeates everything.

The process of artistic creation culminating in the pictorial gesture transcends the cognition of form. The exhibited works are unfathomable portals that lead to the beginning and end of everything, in which the shapes and the golden lines that cross them act as suspended guides, and at the same time with their sacred aura they evoke relics, tombs and temples - human traces of ephemeral brightness in the vastness of the absolute. Gold nostalgically recalls the traditional values of pre-industrial China, while brown refers to the earth, a symbol of the origin and end of mortal existence. The state of impermanence of the body causes it to return to nothingness, in an outcome that unites everyone, regardless of the different cultural precepts.

Here the nihilistic approach of Tao is revealed, conceived as the recognition of the failing nature of men both as a community and as individuals, and analogous to the tragicism of the Greek epic. The figure of the tragic hero, in fact, is extremely modern, as he embodies man divided between free will, divine will, historical necessity, responsibility and guilt. In a global context centered on increasingly precarious and sophisti- cated social constructs, the artist urges reflection on the need to devote more time to emptiness understo- od as the liberation of the mind (Wuxin), to reconnect with oneself and with the principles that govern the cosmos. According to Zen and Taoist doctrine, Wuxin (無心, «no mind») is a mental state that can be achie- ved with meditation and constitutes one of the fundamental factors of spiritual realization. Similarly to the title of the exhibition (非地, «not here») this word also contains a character that represents negation (無), followed by one that indicates the heart and the mind (心), meaning a mind free from thoughts and/or emotions, then open fully. The notion of void or emptiness returns, the supreme energy that shapes the physical world and relates to the consciousness of all beings.

The viewer is immersed in an atmosphere suspended in time and space, in which the works of oriental matrix, contextualized here in a western scenario, create mutual exchanges and synergies, dealing with themes - archaic but so current - that concern us in our community, through the use of an artistic language, in this case painting, capable of going beyond cultural boundaries.

A distinct territorial, cultural or social unit enclosed within a state other than that to which it belongs.

~ Lisangela Perigozzo, 2023

The decontextualization of the human position and the dematerialization of the man-made object to reveal a core of spiritual values hidden in the corners of the curve, in the context of contemporary society where materiality and possession greatly prevail. Tao Han's exhibition at LuogoArteContemporanea takes the form of a creative act rather than an installation based on a simple economic model.

The boundaries of the works on display are blurred, as are those of the creators, and the presence of the public is interactive and collaborative. The gold leaf of the entrance installation “Obelisk” is scattered in space by the different participants, entangled or removed into fragments that will eventually scatter aimlessly. The two golden spheres - the mother and the child - become invasive elements that chase each other and collide with the viewer, upsetting his mind; the gold will be worn away, forming a trajectory towards decay.

Tao's paintings discuss an unresolved relationship between the universe and life, combining the intellectual philosophy of ancient Chinese landscape painting with the philosophical theories of Taoism and Buddhism, inheriting the mysterious and grand lofty panorama of landscape compositions and the beauty of religious painting showing impeccable order. Proverbs and an empty tomb, a statue, a temple and a connecting door here and there emerge as a chaotic “void” in a Venn diagram-like illustration.

Sound gives color to the immense expanse and silence infinitely magnifies space until it becomes a body, to stand in the midst of the immeasurable void of existence that silence leaves us, transforming the entire universe into adjectives with all his conscience and his events. Figuration and abstraction are not mutually exclusive, but are simply subdivisions of representation, enlarged or reduced to varying degrees, just as the microscopic and the macroscopic are equally capable of representing the whole. The rationality of the different modes of expression cannot be over-interpreted, as if to say that “the mountain is just the rock, and the trees, grass and flowers are only appearances of the mountains as rocks”.

But it could also be said that “the mountain contains the stone, the tree, the grass and the flower, all in one”. The folds of the mountains can be equated to the folds of the weather, all covered in mist. While the excess of image could become a mockery of a certain object, Tao Han prefers the essential, achieving unity of place, time and action at the center of existence.

The exhibition includes several important phases of Tao Han's artistic production, in which the works are not exhibited in a linear and chronological way, but rather the artist chooses to present the state of the creative act in different moments and to report the change of technique, in order to convey the message of each work in a uniform way.


~ Mengyin Wang, 2023


Tao Han's solo exhibition

curated by Lisangela Perigozzo and Mengyin Wang

25.03 - 29.04.2023


Saturday 25 May, 5 pm

live performance 6 pm


Tao Han, Upside down / 以头濡墨 2023
Live performance
Video by Eins_ ICE
Special thanks to Nemo

Logograms, like hieroglyphics, use visual communication so that words lead to different patterns of thought and behavior. In the performance, Tao Han will begin with the Buddhist ritual of “Tonsure”, while the next act is inspired by the Tang Dynasty calligrapher Zhang Xu, who wrote with his head in ink. Calligraphy and painting have the same origin, and Tao will use the word “upside down” as a line to create his work.
The performance serves as a tacit rescue of memory rather than a remedy for one’s own intoxication.


 Mengyin Wang, 2023

The works on display are for sale.

For further information please write to

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