SEGOVIA.- Coinciding with the Museum’s tenth anniversary, this exhibition is intended to be the first in a series which will gradually unveil a select perspective of outstanding international names.
Yang Fudong is considered to be one of the most important Chinese artists of today. His work is regularly exhibited at the most prestigious museums and galleries in Europe, Asia and the United States. He has taken part in Documenta 11 in Kassel, the Venice Biennale in 2003 and 2007, the Shanghai Biennale in 2004 and the Moscow Biennale in 2005, and currently lives in Shanghai.
The exhibition brings together a selection of his work carefully put together by Isabel Cervera, the exhibition curator and head of the Department of Asian Art at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Autonomous University of Madrid).
The works exhibited are new to Spain, excepting Liu Lan which has been exhibited at Casa Asia as part of a collective exhibition of Chinese art video (Off Loop, 2004, Barcelona).
Using very local elements, he constructs his narrative discourse from specific constant elements such as the beauty of the image, the evocation of silence, the psychological treatment of themes, and philosophical reflections relating to human existence.
The use of black and white in his work (No snow on the Broken Bridge and Liu Lan) not only refers back to the cinematographic tradition but also to his own pictorial tradition in which the black stroke gave color to compositions, whilst the syncopated rhythm of the images gives rise to a subtle, deliberate visual reading filled with referents which in their own deconstruction form new creative concepts.
Together with these visions which bring the spectator closer to his tradition, Yang Fudong creates visual arguments (Jiaer’s Livestock, City Lights) which are closer to the syncopated language of video. Color, urban life, noise and restlessness appear to come together in brief, intense stories which are also part of his inner landscapes.
They all contain a deep concern for the state of the artist, the intellectual, his relationship with the exterior landscape and its interior reflection; the identity of the individual beyond a cultural system which has marginalized him and in which he has to redefine his position.
What Yang Fudong suggests in his work is not local or global, it is a commitment to a search for limitless and border-free visions of intersecting aesthetics.
This exhibition has been made possible through the collaboration of Yang Fudong and the Marian Goodman Gallery in New York.
Yang Fudong was born in Beijing and is one of the most important exponents of the Post-Tiananmen Generation in contemporary Chinese art. He began his studies in 1991 when he joined the department of painting at the China Academy of Fine Arts in Hangzhou. It was there that he first came into contact with new artistic mediums, and in particular with photography.
In 1997 he produced his first work on video, Estranged Paradise. The following year he moved to Shanghai, a city which offered him greater creative freedom and where it was easier for him to fund for his experimental work. In Shanghai he started his professional career, taking part in various national collective exhibitions which helped him to make the jump abroad. Documenta 11 in Kassel (2002) opened the door to international recognition for him, and this was followed by a number of exhibitions in Europe, the United States and Asia, including exhibitions at the Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna (2005), the Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art in Turin (2005) and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (2006).
The use of cinema and video in his works is based on the medium’s formal, stylistic and expressive abilities to explore the feelings of a new generation of urban youth in a country undergoing constant change, a country in which the culture of the past appears and is reshaped in the present of the big cities. Not forgetting that he is also a painter, his videos recreate pictorial processes narrated with a new visual language. For him, experimentation with the rhythm and speed of video images is one of the main attractions of a medium in which he merges the personal with the universal.