Yuan Yuan: A World of Yesterday and Tomorrow

When 1 Jul 2010 - 7 Aug 2010
Where Chambers Fine Arts
522 W 19th St
New York, NY 10011
United States
Enquiry 212 414 1169

Yuan Yuan,  Light.  Courtesy of the artist and Chambers Fine Arts New York

July 1 – August 7, 2010
Opening reception: July 1, 6-8 pm

Press Release

Immediately following Ye Nan’s Phosphorous Red, Chambers Fine Art is pleased to announce Yuan Yuan’s A World of Yesterday and Tomorrow – the second of two very different solo shows to be shown consecutively that demonstrate the range and promise of new work being produced by younger artists in China today.

In complete contrast to the work of Ye Nan with its use of unconventional materials such as phosphorous and references that range from space travel and colonization to the principles of chemistry and physics are the oil paintings in the second installment of this two-person exhibition.

Yuan Yuan (born 1984 in Beijing) is a painter who works with the very personal themes of friendship, nostalgia and fantasy. In 2008-2009, Chambers Fine Art New York showed a series of her diminutive oil paintings of friends that were notable for their spontaneity and charm. The new series for the current show also draws inspiration from informal photographs but here she delves ever more deeply into the imprecise realms of memory. These Polaroid inspired paintings, specially framed in Jingdezhen porcelain frames, capture moments among friends and are more indistinct and poetic than before. She has also produced bigger works in which her precise brushstrokes have become larger and more diffuse. Some of these show the same incident repeated indistinctly in movie-like ‘frames’. Others, painted from memory, seem to suspend random past moments before us in the present.

In the most recently completed diptychs such as Su Buju among the Shadow of the Trees andWoodland, the larger scale of the paintings and the frequent shifts in focus are indicative of Yuan Yuan’s growing ambition as she moves from the specificity of the imagery in the smaller works to a more lyrical evocation of nature, not the mist-covered mountains and gorges of traditional Chinese landscape painting but recently planted rows of flowering trees.

As the Chinese contemporary art movement comes of age this exhibition shows clearly not only how different schools of thought are emerging but also the importance of transmission from teacher to pupil. Both artists were fortunate to have studied under internationally acclaimed artists: Yuan Yuan under painter Yu Hong, professor at Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts and Ye Nan under Qiu Zhijie, a prominent figure at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou. While Yuan Yuan and Ye Nan’s works may be dissimilar they both ultimately offer, in a way that may emerge as characteristic of their generation, honest and personal statements on the world around them.

Accompanying the exhibition is a fully illustrated catalog with introductory essays by critic Philip Tinari as well as extended interviews: Qiu Zhijie with Ye Nan and Yu Hong with Yuan Yuan.

For more information please click here.