Raili Tang: Vahvoin värein / In Strong Colors
Galerie Forsblom, 25 November 2022–8 January 2023
Raili Tang’s latest exhibition is another tour de force demonstrating her brilliant command of color. Tang is a master of many palettes, but her paintings are more than just exercises in color theory – through color, she interprets emotional states, harnessing the power of her brush to channel a wide array of feelings. All the works in her new exhibition were painted over the past year, reflecting not only the changing seasons, but also collectively experienced emotions during a time marked by deep uncertainty and war anxiety, but also warmth and empathy.
Identifiable nature motifs have crept into Tang’s new paintings. Sturdy trees stand firmly rooted in the earth while their supple branches gracefully stretch skywards. Tang’s palette spans a broad spectrum from melancholy indigo and soothing blue to joyful yellow and force-oozing red. Her paintings celebrate both color and composition. “You have to lighten things up around the edges,” says Tang. The same philosophy might apply to life in general.
Tang’s style of painting is vigorously physical. Working intuitively, she builds up her colors layer by layer until she finally arrives at the desired result. For Tang, painting is a process of listening to what the paintbrush wishes to tell her. Sometimes she is forced to take a break before the painting begins to find its final form. During the process, one layer leads to another, until the painting begins to speak, engage emotions, and tell its story. Through the physicality of her process, Tang keeps falling in love with painting and color over and over again.
Raili Tang (b. 1950) has exhibited her paintings extensively in both domestic and international exhibitions. Her work is found in major Finnish collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, the Sara Hildén Art Museum, Wihuri Foundation, Saastamoinen Foundation and Helsinki City Art Museum. Tang was awarded the Pro Finlandia Medal in 2015.