00 Poster of PRISM

On the afternoon of January 9, 2016, Today Art Museum will launch one of the most important exhibitions for 2016 at Hall 1 in Today Art Museum, “Prism – The Art of Yuan Yuan”. The exhibition is organized by Today Art Museum and CAFA, on the theme of “prism”, it is a three-dimensional assembly and presents the new works by Yuan Yuan centrally, in order to promote to the academic circles and the public so they can know and understand his artistic thinking on trends and latest achievements.

President of CAFA, Academic Chair of the exhibition Fan Di’an thought the theme “prism” perfectly described Yuan Yuan’s artistic features: “The images created by Yuan Yuan are beyond the “reproduction” category in the traditional sense, and also multiplies the project to offer a representation of images and inner psychology, the self-awareness and cultural experience. If the representational painting is the objective reflection of the outside world using a flat mirror so the general meaning is created, Yuan Yuan’s exhibition is like a prism, while performing the objective truth, on the one hand, it is beyond the expression of oil painting in language and form, on the other hand, it explores the image’s reflection on the mental world on an ideological level, to make the work a comprehensive creation including painting, material, installation and interactive process that reflects a wealth of information and energy”.

In fact, such a comprehensive exploration in this direction is formed from the long-term artistic practice of the artist. Currently serving as the deputy director of the Department of Fundamental Education for Plastic Arts, CAFA, Yuan Yuan was admitted to the High School Affiliated to CAFA when he was 16 years old, and studied in the first studio of the Department of Oil Painting, CAFA when he was 20 years old, and he learned from his mentor Du Dakai in the Academy of Arts and Design and graduated with a master’s degree. He started to teach in CAFA, and was admitted to CAFA as a doctoral candidate in 2010, his mentor is Jin Shangyi. As a typical artist growing up with a college education, Yuan Yuan makes every effort to inherit the realistic traditions of the academy and the rich experiences of Chinese and western representational paintings, thus presenting an excellent shaping ability and solid realistic skill in the work of figures, landscape, etc. At the same time, he hopes to break this academy standard mode to realize the transformation from traditional realism to a very personal perspective, as a result, he absorbs the expressive brush strokes and texture, researching the graphic processing of the painting space, expanding the shaping method of the representational painting. He’s also innovative in the form of his work, taking an acrylic and stainless steel mirror as a “canvas”, using a thick coating, color collage and transfer print to create or change the existing form of the oil painting art. In addition to the exploration of language and form, he pays close attention to completing the artistic creation on a conceptual level, efforts to explore the implicit characteristics of the times beneath the surface, to express the understanding of the object, as well as the self-potential psychological narrative, thereby the rules and values of the figurative painting are interrupted in language, form and ideology.

The exhibited series began in 2013, fully reflecting the traits of “prism” in his art practice: in the exhibition hall, male and female bodies with different postures were transferred onto dozens of 2-meter high mirror stainless steel plates, installed in the exhibition hall from different perspectives, together with the large easel paintings on stainless steel mirrors with mysterious and abstract images from the universal space which constitutes a mazy array. In the mutual reflection between mirrors and cloths, the exhibition hall becomes an uncertain psychedelic space, in this space, the “man” is abstracted as a spiritual being, and the viewer is blended into the “prism”, to gain a similar and extremely different visual and spiritual experience on daily life, with the lost and diffused figure.

In the eyes of the artist himself, “Prism” presents a series of work that are like the genesis images when the universe first started, and it seems to be the universal variation faced by people, “breeding the hope of rebirth in the tragedy of the return to the dust”, it is also a perpetual question for people when they face the next thousand years – the topic of “alert and hope”. Fan Di’an said that, “The weightless body is a symbol of the inner confusion, anxiety and imbalances of modern people in the rapid developing social environment, reflecting some sort of life and mental state in the big data “cloud era”, showcasing a transcendental reality. In this group of surreal landscape theatres constructed with practical techniques, human and material, human and the world, subjective consciousness and objective reality all co-exist in the virtual and real world, with a fictitious and realistic comparison, revealing the artist’s unique experience in the time of information”.

In the current overall cultural ecological situation, the contemporary artists from China and even the world are all facing opportunities and challenges introduced by the cultural context of globalization and information. The use of a novel exhibition structure and display means “Prism” presents the young artist Yuan Yuan’s cultural feeling and the self-transcendent art expression, it is also a representative case, to lead to art exploration and discussion on contemporary artists in a real cultural context and then to promote it to the public cognition as a visual cultural innovation.

About the exhibition
Title: Prism – The Art of Yuan Yuan
Academic Chair: Fan Di’an
Artist: Yuan Yuan
Duration: January 9 – January 20, 2016
Opening: January 9, 2016 3:30 pm
Venue: Building 1 of Today Art Museum (Building 4, Pingod Community, No.32 Baiziwan Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing)
Organizers: Today Art Museum, CAFA

Courtesy of the artist and Today Art Museum, translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO

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