On the afternoon of 6 November 2018, “When Lines Become Boundaries: Pei Yongmei Art Exhibition” was unveiled at Beijing Minsheng Art Museum. Many honored guests from the China Minsheng Bank, Central Academy of Fine Arts, art circles and academic circles, as well as the related media were present at the opening ceremony. The exhibition is hosted by China Minsheng Bank, Beijing Minsheng Art Museum, School of Plastic Arts at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, and co-organized by Beijing Minsheng Culture and Art Foundation. Henk Slager was invited to serve as the curator.
As an important representative of young Chinese contemporary female artists, artist Pei Yongmei has been engaged in the creation and exploration of visual art for many years, and she uses a mobile perspective and flowing lines in her easel painting: without a fixed frame, without static consciousness, a flowing screen is presented that is full of interactivity. This unique creative approach has naturally been included in the artist’s reflections on a series of complicated issues such as aesthetic traditions, urgent social issues, and present ecological issues, which showcase an obvious multiplicity. It is a new piece from the series of “Contemporary Artist Case Studies” held by Beijing Minsheng Art Museum. It systematically reviews and showcases the works recently created by Pei Yongmei and it is also the first large-scale solo exhibition by the artist.
At the opening ceremony, Party Secretary of the Central Academy of Fine Arts Gao Hong congratulated Pei on the holding of the exhibition. Gao said it was the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, and it was a strategic mission to cultivate the outstanding young teachers from Central Academy of Fine Arts, such as Pei Yongmei, in the new era. Gao Hong commented that, “I hope that young teachers from Central Academy of Fine Arts could inherit the glorious tradition of the academy, based on a solid traditional foundation to constantly explore and innovate to pay attention to society and serve people, facing social problems and using artistic creation to solve those problems.”
Director of Beijing Minsheng Art Museum Zhou Xujun delivered a speech at the opening ceremony, and she commented that Pei was a very young and outstanding artist within the series of “Contemporary Artist Case Studies” held by Beijing Minsheng Art Museum, “the theme of Chinese livelihood was highlighted, urban changes were recorded and people’s livelihood was focused on. Pei has used many expressive forms of art, including paintings, videos and installations, in the creation, to reflect modernity and the reality of contemporary China under the collision and integration of a variety of cultures.” At the same time, Zhou thought that Pei has studied at the High School Affiliated to Central Academy of Fine Arts and graduated from Central Academy of Fine Arts, with a bachelor’s degree and then with a master’s degree, so Pei was a typical case of the modern teaching system of the Central Academy of Fine Arts. It was not only the first solo exhibition by Pei Yongmei, it was also a judgment of the artist’s artistic value made by the art museum. Moreover, it was an epitome of talents trained by the Central Academy of Fine Arts who are leading the field in modern art education in China.
Chairman of the Board of the Directors of Beijing Minsheng Art Museum Li Wenhua delivered a speech at the opening ceremony and spoke highly of Pei’s artistic achievements. Li Wenhua commented that Pei Yongmei was not only skilled in the use of classical and modern artistic languages, but was also able to use a contemporary form rather than the traditional one. Li also said that the way the artworks were included in life was a topic that was worthy of discussion.
Dean of the School of Plastic Arts, the Central Academy of Fine Arts Ma Lu delivered a speech at the opening ceremony and shared his view on the show. Ma said that, in the exhibition of “When Lines Become Boundaries”, the “line” was actually a metaphor of the social meaning rather than a symbol of the screen, and the “boundary” reminded him of thoughts on paintings and art boundaries. Traditional Chinese painting or calligraphy emphasized the “line”, which also consisted of the thick and the thin, and those differences made the painting expressive. He also declared that there was actually the width of the “line”, and the “line” of a “width” which was in fact a “boundary”, where things grow freely. Ma Lu hopes that future paintings should live in such a boundary to embrace vitality.
At last, the artist Pei Yongmei sincerely expressed her gratitude to the honored guests present at the exhibition and the curatorial team, as well as her teachers and friends. Pei said that, it brought together the works created since 2012. As a periodic report of her artistic exploration, it showcases her thoughts on artistic images. Pei declared that, art means constantly experimenting with various methods of doing something until one finds the best solution. It is necessary for young artists to constantly try and break through until they reach the true summit of their art. Exploring people’s feelings and spiritual pursuits at present and discovering their present thoughts and future ideas, is consistent with the scientific practice at a spiritual level. Pei also said that it was a node for her artistic success and also started a new art journey. She is passionately longing for art and the exploration of art, the use of the colors of the new ages to depict the glory days of art.
Located in the gallery on the ground floor, it showcases Beijing Minsheng Art Museum, “The Double Hour” series, “When Lines Become Boundaries” series and “Chocolate” series, as well as a video and a set of installation art works. Pei Yongmei’s creations are themed on the urbanization that is rapidly developing, taking the urban life as the object to present a display system composed of a variety of expressions, so that the social scene and the artistic presence meet again in the same space. Perhaps it is an encounter, but they cannot directly dialogue with each other, because they have missed the boundary and only the lines suggest the potential vitality and strong openness that is happening in the process of artistic thinking and the attitude of the artist is also obvious in the paintings: Painting should not be self-satisfying as a discipline. Moreover, the boundaries of thoughts and the possibility of thinking should not be restricted. As the curator Henk Slager wrote in the preface, Pei Yongmei subtly and imperceptibly showcased an artistic thought that was different from the tradition of drawing, and this thought was continuously permeated into the texture of writing. She did not only create a unique artistic expression, but also crossed the segmentation of real boundaries and the inductive stratification of knowledge taxonomy. Thus the visible form is compared with a limited singular standard at the same time, to summon the infinite discovery and renewal.
It remains on view till 25 November.
Chinese text edited by Lin Jiabin, translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO
Photo by Beijing Minsheng Art Museum