What Kind of Us Does Painting Need


  • Opening hours

    10 : 00 – 18 : 00
    Tuesday – Saturday

  • Location:

    No. 1, -1F Sunken Garden, Lane 9, Qufu Road, Jing’an District, Shanghai

MadeIn Gallery is pleased to present the group exhibition “What Kind of Us Does Painting Need” on Sep 2, 2023. Curated by Xu Zhen, the exhibition invites thirteen artists from around the world to present their highly experimental and revealing paintings. Together the works on view investigate how painting might refresh and regenerate its power as a medium while being confronted with the dual challenges of algorithm and post-conceptualism. They galvanize us into thinking how we could remold ourselves and our experiences so that we can sustainably imagine, create, and view the new paintings.

“Finally, we have come to a time when the number of painters reaches its zenith on Earth.”

Someone opened GPT, and a new so-called painter was born. Is this the mediocre fate of the new painting in the age of algorithms? Today’s painting is so compatible and adaptable that it loses its weight. Do we have any reason to approach a painting other than the fact that we have to look at it? Is painting still a portal in the city to an unknown universe? Why is it necessary to have so many paintings on our screens? How does the contingency of our eyes and hands duel in the picture with the inevitability of artificial intelligence? Can this many paintings justify our world? Does painting exist to drift on social media?

We are hereby honored to invite these artists and their works to reveal their painting practice. They attempt to refresh painting and endow it with the power of a new medium that captivates the viewer as firmly as smartphones and constantly updated apps. After the artists have squeezed the painterliness out of the painted object with the painting, such a being also acts as a reminder that painting begins when we swipe our fingers over the image on the screen. It is only when we transcend our excitement about new technologies that we can truly begin to paint. In choosing to paint these objects, the artists are also manifesting their attitudes and intervening in our inertia. We can but seek fresh experiences to match these paintings.


Rather than asking what kind of painting is needed, we need to ask what kind of us such painting needs.