I am pleased to be curating this exhibition for two esteemed Chinese art colleagues of mine from Beijing, 漆驭天 (Pinyin: Qi Yutian, Pronunciation: Chee-You-Tien) and 宋昱霖 (Pinyin: Song Yulin, Pronunciation: Song-You-Leen). The exhibition will take place at OZANEAUX ArtSpace, with an opening reception on July 7, 6-9pm.
Qi Yutian and Song Yulin live and work in Fei Jia Cun, Beijing. Their art studio is located behind the studio I lived and worked, in 2011, while on the Red Gate Gallery Residency Program. We connected this January 2016, in a different area of China, collectively invited by the Chinese Government as exhibiting artists in the First Emei International Invitational Exhibition, at Emei Museum of Contemporary Art, in LeShan Provence. Later in the month, a NY blizzard kept me and Helen Dennis, who also exhibited in the MoCa exhibition, with our rear's parked in GuangZhou for a few days. Helen and I were invited to the couple's GuangZhou winter studio, where I was able to extensively review their work. I found them both to be "incessantly reevaluating" as myself and many other artists do, i imagine, spinning between various vantage points and dichotomous truths, with the added third relative dimension of time. I connected to this maddening mental hamster wheel, and their core issues--and as different as their outcome is from mine, they are from each other. Where Yulin’s work reconciles, Yutian explores.
Song Yulin’s selection of artwork derives from two series, Eighteen Heartbeats and Patching the Soul. Eighteen Heartbeats (ex. above, right) served as Yulin’s emotional outlet, beginning in 2009 with the forced demolition of her live-work space, by the Chinese Government. The trauma of the demolition impacted Song Yu Lin’s view on life and her methodology shifted accordingly. Here, she reexamines poems on exile, by the famous female poet, Cai Wenji’s, titled Hu Jia Shi Ba Pai. Song’s smooth lines became abrasive, a flat surface uprooted, as she moved from brushes to medical needles for tools, symbolically healing her soul. Patching the Soul are examples of Song Yulin’s newest works, although the idea has been brewing for many years. A patch is used to cover holes—in clothing, tire tubes, computer software, etc. Song Yulin reevaluates man’s inability to be perfect and our compulsion, or instinct, even, to cover, or “patch,” it up. She imagines “holes” sprinkled throughout her own life and thoughts, patching them up in large-scale compositions of fabric and thread. As she engaged in the process, strong childhood memories of her mother sewing cloths for she and her Siblings began to surface. Yulin, in turn, invited her mother to participate in the compositions.
The son of a traditional Chinese painter and the student of a Contemporary Art education system, Qi Yutian flourished between two approaches to Art and life; one that embraces ancient Chinese wisdom and sustainability, the other reflects and, sometimes, fetishizes Western culture. He explores the possibility of embracing both the concerns and technical possibilities of Contemporary Art and making room for reexamination of traditional Chinese Art and History, drawing out relevant wisdom and value to contemporary query and concern, and vise versa. Mustard Seed Universe is a body of work that investigates traditional Chinese symbolism using contemporary methodology. It explores the possibility of both the distinct and collective universe that exists within all matter. Included in the exhibition is an 82-foot winding scroll, titled Traveling Mustard Seed Garden 《云游芥子园》. Sourcing and combining images from the original manual Mustard Seed Garden, by Li Yu, from the late Ming Dynasty, Qi renders a new image, shifting over time, from dense, mass formations to tranquil images of fallen petals and birds. From the reconstruction of the Mustard Seed Garden, Qi Yutian anticipates the possibilities inherent in connection and distinction. He aims to tease-out the common threads in Traditional and Contemporary Art (and, in so, perhaps culture) while digging a river that connects East and West.
Opening Reception July 7 2016 6-9pm
Please join us in welcoming both Artists from China at the Opening Reception on July 7, 2016, 6-9pm.
By Appointment Only June 28- July 11 firstname.lastname@example.org
OZANEAUX ArtSpace 515 W 20th Street, #4E New York, NY 10011