Launched in Chongqing at Organhaus Art Space (2013)
Launched in Sydney at Gallery 9 (2013)
Exhibited in Hong Kong at HanArt TZ Gallery (2015)
This three-volume set of limited edition artist books was launched at Organhaus (Chongqing) and Gallery 9 (Sydney) accompanied by a selection of book pages’ proofs.The books themselves, on topics including: The Picturesque, Chinese Painting and Urbanism, are composed of reproductions of pages taken from Nelson’s notebooks spanning over the past four years. After the original pages were sorted and categorised into the three subjects, they were edited down as separate essays which demonstrate ongoing investigations into decoding the landscape, a common theme in Nelson’s recent practice.
The Picturesque envisages gardeners, landscape painting, and the ideal of The Traveller who lies and steals. It explores the influence of 18th century English aesthetics on landscape painting, property laws, and later tourist photography. In Chinese Painting Nelson poses an esoteric yet rational question: Is Minecraft (the consol/computer game) fundamentally any different to Chinese Scholar Painting? Looking back on the last Imperial Chinese (Qing) Dynasty, Nelson considers whether the Qianlong Emperor, who in his long travels, might never have looked out of his carriage window, and whose scroll painter may have painted a perfectly calculated political landscape in order to keep his own head? This is of course, one interpretation. And lastly, Urbanism, illustrates the invented utopian scheme that it is. The cycle of construction and the hubris of monuments in which the Scared Man builds everything twice and the Surveyor maps charts of sand dunes.