Song Yuanyuan’s new solo show, entitled “Downstage, Upstaged,” presented by Platform China, will be on exhibit from December 17th, 2016 to February 26th, 2017. His new pieces build on the moody temperament established in his “Examining Objects” series of absurdly disfigured forms laughing in the dark.

Song has recently begun to incorporate realism in his paintings, no longer avoiding emotion and narrative but identifying it, unusually, in the “minor characters” of the scenes we inhabit.

Minor characters are more likely seen downstage, away from the audience. They’re not usually the main focal point, but Song brings them upstage, so we can get a better look. Those characters are a secondary element on the frame; yet they play a crucial role in making the piece whole. They help give the story context and establish the stakes of the action. Similarly, Song anthropomorphizes previously overlooked objects, instilling in them personality and spirit. A human face appears in an apple, a shoe serves as a house, and  the golden statue…

Song looks to fairy tales – crammed with bowls of porridge, ruby slippers, and magical beans – for a language through which to understand these insignificant objects. And yet a scene filled with only minor characters eventually collapses back into context for something else. Like photos of empty stages, the works ultimately hand the power of interpretation and imagination to the viewer to complete the narrative.

Over the next two months, the exhibition will be periodically updated, with the pieces recombined and reorganized to suggest different storylines. In addition to paintings, Song’s sketches and his artist notes play minor roles in the exhibition, creating the possibility for open interpretation while serving as a loose script with which to read the artist’s work.

About the exhibition

Song Yuanyuan was born in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, China in 1981. He graduated from Luxun Academy of Fine Arts, Department of Photography in 2005. He lives and works in Shenyang now. Selected solo exhibitions include: Downstage, Upstaged , Platform China Contemporary Art Institute, Beijing, China (2016) ; Master of Counterfeit , Liste – The Young Art Fair in Basel, Basel, Switzerland (2014) ; Examining Objects , Platform China Contemporary Art Institute, Beijing, China (2011) ; May You Succeed , 01100001, Beijing, China(2010). Selected group exhibitions: Each to His Own: Li Wendong, Wei Xingye Collection Exhibition OCAT Xi’an, Shanxi, China (2016) ; Dissensus – The Painting to Language Agitation , Today Museum, Beijing, China (2016) ; Breaking the Image – Methods in the Treatment of Imagery By Contemporary Artists From China , Sishang Art Museum, Beijing, China (2015) ; The System of Objects , Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, China (2015) ; Conscious – Twelve Views on Painting , Tang Contemporary Art Beijing, Beijing, China (2014) ; Jungle II — A Thriving Mophology: Theory Of Relativity , Platform China Contemporary Art Institute, Beijing, China (2013) ; ON | OFF: China’s Young Artists in Concept and Practice, The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China (2013) ; The First CAFAM · Future Exhibition , CAFA Art Museum, Beijing, China (2012) , etc.

About the exhibition

Dates: 2016.12.17 – 2017/02/26

Venue: Platform China

Courtesy of the artist and Platform China, for further information please visit

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