This will be HUANG’s third solo exhibition with the gallery since 2009. Nini continues to be active on HUANG’s canvas, even though she is older and inevitably her words have grown, her expressions more complex, and she occasionally rides through emotional waves. Rabbit Nini’s exterior appears to be warm and fragile, and she plays both the protagonist and supporting role. The whole canvas – sky, earth, night sky, or sea, etc. – represents an initiative to conduct a narrative. When Nini leaps into the scene, HUANG Benrei defines her through a painting language of symbols, colors, and shapes … and organizes these elements into a visual story full of content.
Through Nini, HUANG Benrei freely expresses the inner thoughts of humankind - sometimes touched, sometimes worried, sometimes insightful about life. For example, I love you more and more (2010) blossomed during a time when she was sick and grateful for her older sister’s care. This occurred close to the Sichuan earthquake, and when she saw how the victims were able to accept the love and help of strangers, she thought “human nature is prone to pessimism, because it often seems that every man is for himself, trying to outwit one another. But to act for others, it takes courage.” Or in Let no shadow slow you down, I brought mine on board (2011), she says that the shadows become the main character’s counterpart, not only as proof of the self’s existence, but also as a constant representation of the self, in dialogue with the body. In these works, Benrei HUANG uses shadows as a symbol of matters that we cannot control or see clearly. They often disturb us before we are able to take genuine action. Once we see our doubts and confusion are merely a matter of mind, and understand that hesitation comes only from an overly cautious attitude, these black shadows are revealed as nothing more than an emptiness, and cannot truly control what we do.
All of the small and large paintings may look easy to create, but for Benrei HUANG, it is always an endless battle. As an artist, she feels as if her mind is constantly “walking on thin ice.” As she completes paintings one by one, she often feels as if she is looking back on past versions of Nini that with her eyes, “Nini hasn’t changed, but you cannot always stay the same….” In this exhibition, audiences are offered a glimpse into the inner world of Benrei HUANG, whose paintings follow a sincere protagonist caught in both warm as well as powerless moments.