CATEGORIES: Art exhibition

With Paintings, Exhibitions, Music, Singers, Fine Wine and Best Friends

DIZZY BAR, Jie Li-Elbrächter and Fan Wang. We are all waiting for you.


Time: 2019, April 12th, 8:30 PM

Location: Dizzy Bar, No. 30, Jiangsu North Road, Changning District, Shanghai

Artists can utter the sentiment that the public couldn’t no matter how hard they try – be it the misery of seeking out for a true confidant, or the sensation like a tsunami late at night.


To a great extent, art “invokes sentiments”. Such sentiments, upon blending into the unique life experience and idea of every individual, produce some kind of emotion – dignity, or fragility, or humbleness, or gratitude that fills our mind.


When art is appreciated, sentiment could then be spotted. Every one of us is included in a network of humanity, comforted, profoundly.


“Saying something but actually saying nothing” is tough to achieve in art. As Wittgenstein, the Austrian philosopher said: “what can be said at all can be said clearly, and what we cannot talk about we must pass over in silence.”


Most of the time, delicate silence is seen as a gesture of obedience to the world, but also a confrontation by a man of wisdom. Saying nothing though, art presents both surging and dormant tides – be it restraining or unrestrained, roaring with laughter or bursting into tears – in front of the definition of time via art concepts and forms.

City series – 1, mixed material, paper, by Jie Li-Elbrächter
City series – 2, mixed material, paper, by Jie Li-Elbrächter
City series – 3, mixed material, paper, by Jie Li-Elbrächter

Jie Li-Elbrächter, an artist and curator with strong life consciousness. We had a conversation about mental diseases in Art Basel Hong Kong a few days ago. We carried out in-depth analysis of all sorts of mental diseases. The conclusion we drew was that artists and psychopaths may share a common trait – thinking. They have always been thinking, not only about what they see and hear, but also about their own thoughts.


People with strong life consciousness are always haunted by a question: What do I live for? It dawns on me from Jie’s legendary life experience and her arrogant and unyielding juvenility that we all try to show off as proudly as a peacock during puberty. And that reminds me of some people, some strong point, basketball, philosophy, a guitar, and a cigarette.


However, pretty things are not always beautiful. Jie knew it well long ago, and has got rid of those worldly criteria long since. She had her unique existential philosophy as a child – examining and capitalizing on common customs and mundane conventions while choosing to stand aloof from them. Along with her life journey, she keeps clear-headed and aware of herself but also keeps rebellious. People give her tons of labels – artist, curator, brand founder, professor, Ph.D., and mother…… Be that as it may, she never settles down on such worldly labels.


Jie has always been questioning everything, be it elite, authority, belief or even herself. She chops everything that she questions into small pieces to probe into, to integrate the pieces into her daily life, which, however, turns out to be nothing, but it is quite artistic. She often says: “life itself is an artwork”. Indeed, everyone’s life is a path of practice, discipline, and cultivation on certain doctrines. As long as we are alive, we ought to improve ourselves, increase level of cognition and perception, think about the future and life trend within the dimension of time, and most importantly, grab every chance to study. That’s the only way we could catch up and race the evil dog called life.


Fan Wang, the owner and spirit symbol of Dizzy bar, is a person who would catch your eye by her special qualities at your first glimpse. She is always in high spirits but also delicate. It’s hard to figure out from her eternal smiling face that she is actually the incarnation of hardcore literature and art, with high spiritual threshold.


What differs humans with souls from AI lies in the fact that humans are in an everlasting pursuit of love, and at the sometime get hurt in the relationship. The reason Fan surpasses 99% of us is that she has thoroughly understood human weakness while we were still wandering in the maze of youth. She jumps out of the maze, and dare to be into a relationship where she has got hurt and learned to take care of herself.


We all love her rough jeans, her clean straightforward hairstyle, her hale underjaw while she’s smoking, her songs and the photos she takes. She is sometimes overbearing and wanton, but sometimes fights back desperately. Friends surround her in an endless stream, giving and taking. She sometimes ponders during insomnia. She owns a unique world of her own where she doesn’t shrink back from anything or fight for anything.


Jie and Fan have a friendship elegant as a cup of tea and yet strong as a bottle of liquor. Neither of them would be easily tamed by the broader society; both souls are soaked in the holy water of art. They share similarity in their pursuit of the ultimate artistic concepts and behaviors as well as their superb sentiment experience.


 “And whoever does not want to die of thirst among men must learn to drink out of all cups; and whoever would stay clean among men must know how to wash even with dirty water”, said Nietzsche.


Stay untainted in spite of muddy life. Jie and Fan are such people who can be mundane and even hypocritical when needed, who are clear-minded but keep a distance from this profane world.


I’m so looking forward to seeing the two proud faces that have never tasted failure or surrender in front of this world, to seeing how they give each other a beautiful smile and present us the splendidness in a glass of cocktail called “nothing is a thing”.


Never dwell in the past; never crave for the future; never fail the present. Let’s be intoxicated in the “beauty of a whim” brought by freedom.


On April 12th, 2019, Jie and Fan, the two people who are too unique to hide their thorns and hug each other, will gather together in the Dizzy Bar. Jie will blend her experience, inspiration and her sentiments during a specific life stage into Fan’s bar, into the stories that happened here.


Every wall, every light, every rhythm, every cloud of smoke, and every glass of wine, tells you the loves and memories that people fail to speak out, fills you with courage to jump into this mundane world full of vitality.


May we all have a deeper understanding and tolerance on things around us.


Xia Li

March, 2019

Fan Wang, Jie Li-Elbrächter, Xia Li

“I painted a series of ‘Smoke’ many years ago.”

Cigarette No.1, Oil on Canvas, by Jie Li-Elbrächter
Cigarette No.2, Oil on Canvas, by Jie Li-Elbrächter

I left my home, lived and worked in Beijing when I was 13 years old. The “Cigarette” series, in its infancy, was, to some extent, self-protection that I used to deceive myself and others – “I’m bad. Leave me alone. I’m scared of nothing.”


Then, it turned into a declaration – “Must girls who smoke be bad girls? Yeah, I’m bad. So what?”

And later, it became the mate of my lonely soul.


The bigger the cities we live in are, the more crowded our lives are with people and vehicles. The lonelier we are, the more level-headed we need to stay alone.


To find your own soul and warmth in the temperature and a tiny hue of yellow in the only five minutes of a fire.


When the fire is extinguished, tell yourself that you are back to reality, and you are still, alone.

Self-portrait No. 1, oil on canvas, by Jie Li-Elbrächter
Self-portrait No. 2, oil on canvas, by Jie Li-Elbrächter

When smoking became my dependence, I quit it. I don’t want my life depends on anything else, be it material or spiritual, except myself and my ego.


We treat many objects as art – painting, image, sculpture, device, ready-made article, voice, body language, VR, poem and song, movie, or a sigh. Of course, plenty of articles and masterworks are always probing into what art is.


Once I saw a small doodle in the corner of a wall along the street in the center of London. I thought it was quite artistic because it reflects the spirit of questioning. It just stood there, alone yet restively, questioning the entire system that judges and evaluates our value, but not in a loud, pretentious or claptrap way. And from the brushwork and colors, you can sense the artist’s freedom, simplicity, and persistence.


I loved it very much, so I painted a graffiti on a wall of Central Saint Martins on my way back. Whether it was spotted by anyone or it still exists or not, remains unknown.

Shadow of A Fire Extinguisher, Propylene, by Jie Li-Elbrächter
Shadow of A Fire Extinguisher, Propylene, by Jie Li-Elbrächter
Fire Extinguishers and Their Shadows on the Wall in Central Saint Martins

When I first met Fan and visited her small bar, I felt that the combination of her and her bar was an artwork.


Natural yet special, casual yet persistent.


A small figure hides in a little, dark corner, questioning against genders, music, indulgence, money, and some kind of value evaluation system.


If you think that many things don’t seem logical, that means you haven’t had a deep enough and complicated enough life experience. Sometimes everything seems nothing, but that means that it is enough. Life is but an instant, a flash that passes in the twinkling of an eye. But no one knows if that is the very instant when you flick away the cigarette butt in your hand.


— Jie Li-Elbrächter, on the plane to Hong Kong, March 2019

Dizzy Bar

As the owner of Dizzy Bar, Fan writes songs and lyrics by herself:

Meanwhile, smoking holds different meanings to Fan and people who smoke in the photos she takes.

Friends and cigarettes, by Fan Wang

The cigarette butt scattered all over the floor embody the shattered stories, sentiments and lives of us…


It seems that we are consciously and unconsciously drifting along yet against the tide of the social system. We create artworks about rebellion, yet we hope to sell them for a good price. We smoke, yet we take lung-clearing medicines at the same time. We drink alcohol with liver-protecting pills. We stay up late at night with beauty masks on the faces. We touch solitude while proposing toasts to each other…


Maybe that’s why life can be so lovely, always good and bad, such an imperfect perfection.

“Spring counts her flowers every night.” April 12th, 2019, Friday, Shanghai. The weather is just about to get a little bit warmer.

With Paintings, Exhibitions, Music, Singers, Fine Wine and Best Friends

DIZZY BAR, Jie Li-Elbrächter and Fan Wang. We are all waiting for you.


Time: 2019, April 12th, 8:30 PM

Location: Dizzy Bar, No. 30, Jiangsu North Road, Changning District, Shanghai