In a rare collaborative effort, ARARIO and BANK team up to present Chen Yujun’s solo-project, The River Never Remembers, The House Cannot Forget. Spanning both former-French Concession galleries, this two-part exhibition showcases the artist’s creative production of the last few years. A portion of the works presented come from the permanent collections of two international private museums: The Arario Museum in Korea and the White Rabbit Gallery in Australia, and are being shown in China for the first time.
Chen’s work reevaluates the emotional bond to one’s homeland in a modern context whereby the migrant’s tribulation is shared across generations. In light of this nostalgic sentiment, ARARIO and BANK present this project in the first month of the Lunar New Year — a season for returning home to one’s roots and memories.
Chen’s continued interest in the affinities between personal and social history as well as natural and manmade space take precedent in this ambitious presentation. The exhibition is divided into two interdependent sections, both of which use the artist’s native Fujian province as inspiration.
At Arario Gallery, The River Never Remembers presents a series of mixed media works on paper and installations from Chen’s Mulan River project. Meandering around his hometown and finally depositing into the ocean, Mulan River to Chen Yujun is an intimate symbol of native roots as well as memories of family members who have immigrated to the outside world. It also represents the impermanence of life and our inability to retain the feelings and experiences that flow through it.
BANK presents The House Cannot Forget, an installation in the form of an abstract dwelling that houses archival elements, works on paper and video. These works come from the artist’s Temporary Constructions series and blend found imagery with a fantastical architectural element. Frequent return visits to the artist’s hometown, which has witnessed demolition and urbanization over the past decades, has made Chen very aware of architecture’s role in collective remembrance. The house represents the human tendency to attachment – of harboring objects, memories, and sentiment to the point of nostalgia.
In both exhibitions, the stuff of our environment – natural phenomena and manmade constructions – are personified, giving the exhibition settings an almost spiritual vitality. Mixing multi-media works on paper with installations and archival materials, Chen helps to map the vicissitudes of rapid change between our surroundings and psyches.
About the exhibition
Dates: Feb 25, 2017 – Apr 16, 2017
Opening: Feb 25, 2017, Saturday
Venues: Arario Gallery, Bank
Courtesy of the artist and Arario Gallery, for further information please visit www.arariogallery.com.