Doors of Shanghai

Artists, Sculpture

The multidisciplinary artist who creates nostalgic stories with found objects from each district of Shanghai – Redic

Well-known on the Shanghai art scene, Redic is an artist with multidisciplinary expressions: he’s a singer, performance artist, poetry writer, sculptor, painter and arduous seeker of local stories that are thoroughly archived in his found objects, in the bits and pieces of one’s life abandoned in the street.

Displayed in the luxurious W Shanghai Hotel’s interior, Redic’s exhibition Doors of Shanghai brought a touch of color, vividness and beautiful ‘madness’ to this building’s minimalist ambiance.

Dedicated to the 16 districts of this huge metropolis, the series is a part of #ShanghaiChapters, a theme that represents Redic’s artistic activity in this part of the world celebrating “people and land – past, present, and future” as the artist affirms in his statement.

Redic is a storyteller at heart, identifying memories, tales, histories, all sorts of perceived and unperceived records enclosed in the found old doors; an artist committed to revealing the human soul, our quest for identity and love.

Redic is mapping Shanghai’s districts through his objets trouvés, but he is also mapping feelings and cultural roots. Every door represents a district of Shanghai (the location is specified on the back – Jing’an, Puxi, Huangpu, Yangpu etc.) expressing Redic’s experience and attachment to that specific urban milieu; he is integrating into his art the dynamic atmosphere of those areas, emphasizing the dialogue between East and West and their traditions.

Redic is a powerful creator of assemblage artworks. His Doors of Shanghai and all his series, in fact, are floating between painting and sculpture; a colorful universe richly composed by elements pertaining to different cultures, but embodying the beauty of the human soul. His doors are hybrid artworks, associating painting and collage to an object taken from the real world, and assembling many different decorative elements/ fragments/ pieces (mirrors, glass, fabric, artificial flowers, Chinese lucky charms, glossy materials and cements) in order to acquire texture, gesture and expression of the metamorphosed door as Gate to the world of art and to a new life.

So, Redic’s artistic process starts from a ready-made – an old house door – which quickly became the articulation of the relation between aesthetics and cultural recycling. He, then, adds and builds up complicated assemblages, evolving from a dysfunctional object charged with one’s memories, into an item with artistic status and aesthetic principles pertaining to the artistic legacy of Marcel Duchamp, Kurt Schwitters, Joseph Cornell, Robert Rauschenberg, and Noah Purifoy.

Inspired by their modus operandi, Redic creates nostalgic stories and surreal atmosphere by juxtaposing edgy shapes with delicate flowers, Chinese memorabilia with the chromatic and luminosity principles of Africobra aesthetics. Redic’s unique style resides in strong colors (red and gold prevail), shiny materials and mirrors, transforming the discarded and the useless into the beautiful and the dazzling.

Every color, brushstroke or object that Redic uses in his compositions trigger various meanings for each viewer who tries to decipher the story of that door. He takes advantage of the various door typologies to emphasize the balance between solidity and transparency, between presence and absence, revealing lost and found worlds, old and new meanings. The crystal knobs, the gold and silver dust, the shiny stones or mirror pieces, all these participate in the metamorphosis of the doors into the gates of hope, renewal, life, and future.

But Redic is also a poetry writer and a performer, therefore words and chant-like phrases have an important role in his artistic expression; his doors are letters to the world, with colorful emphasis on concepts and expressions, aiming a full impact on the viewer: “life”/”life that is to come”, “wonderful”, “keys”, “walk with me through these doors of life”, “vivid”, “imagination”, “access”, “bold”, “for generations these doors have swung wide”. Redic’s message is clear: he invites the public to access their vivid imagination, to be bold and to open the doors of a wonderful life that is now and coming, because they have the keys to self-discovery through art and culture, to search their roots for a better understanding of the past, the present, and the future.

In his solo show, Redic also presents the photographic Derivatives series in which abstraction takes over through photographs of magnified details of the painted doors; these are dynamic compositions where gesture and color reveal Redic’s energetic, expressionist manner of painting, and his extraordinary ability to create art in any dimension and size.

Redic is a contextual artist, for whom Shanghai provides the most important set of elements for determining the meaning of his art: biographical, cultural, and philosophical. He is a seeker of cultural roots, of self-identity in an ever-changing urban context, and Doors of Shanghai perfectly illustrate the artist’s version of “haipai culture” (west meets east).

All his series (Thrones, Blue Windows & Glass Canvas, Bamboo, The Human Experience, Determined to Bloom, Doors of Shanghai, China Dream Catchers) speak about haipai culture, about cross-cultural cooperation and inclusivity, because Shanghai is an incubator, a forerunner to embrace new styles, changes in values, behaviors, fashion, and customs.

We look forward to learning more about his next project slated to launch later this year. Titled #ShanghaiChapters, Redic will showcase all eight series of his artistry; this exhibition will tell the story of his experience specifically and the human experience more generally in an inspiring and immersive ode to Shanghai.

All photographs courtesy of Kirill Buhtiyarov. Photos cannot be reproduced without permission of the photographer

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