Opening: 2020.9.5 15:00
Artist: Duan Jianyu
Curator: Peter Pakesch
Opening Hours: Tue.-Sun. 11: 00-17: 00
Add: Pond Society, NO. 2555-4, Longteng Avenue, Shanghai
For a curator from Europe looking at the paintings of Duan Jianyu means always questioning the possibility of understanding. These paintings all carry, per se, a certain enigma with them. But that’s one side, the other one is that they are communicating with the spectators in different aspects. They pose questions about how much meaning can be transferred between images of different cultures, even in a world of global imagery as today’s. If today’s Chinese painting has a very special position within the world’s visual cultures, the paintings of Duan Jianyu show this even more strongly and in the experience of high visual ambivalence. Today’s Chinese painting can be found between very different realms of painting and visual culture: the old Chinese traditions, different appropriations of western and modern traditions, a new eastern paradigm. Broken mirrors of visuality determine this work and contribute to further enigmas. By looking at these paintings, the curator is reminded of the poems of his compatriot Paul Celan, highly enigmatic in themselves. A poet who succeeded in transcending a highly specific experience and personal situation into a universal gesture of poetics. Thus becoming a paradigmatic figure. Therefore an experiment shall be performed to read one enigma by the other. To understand one set of images and metaphors in the context of the other.
- Peter Pakesch
Nine works from 2014 to the present by artist Duan Jianyu, selected by curator Peter Pakesch after long time research, constitute the artist's solo exhibition "Automatic Writing-Automatic Understanding" to be presented at the New Century Art Foundation's Shanghai space, Pond Society. In addition to highlighting the appeals of Duan Jianyu's paintings, the curator, with the perspective of a European scholar, keenly captures the similarities between Duan's paintings and the poetry of the German poet Paul Celan, that is, the lyrical transformation between language and reality derived from the individual's situation, which opens a new channel for us to understand the artist's practice.
Born in 1970 in Zhengzhou, Henan province, Duan Jianyu graduated from the oil painting department at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Art in 1995. She currently teaches at the South China Normal University of the Arts in Guangzhou. She was awarded The Winner of the Best Artist of Chinese Contemporary Art Awards (CCAA) 2010. Duan Jianyu’s recent solo exhibitions include: Sharp, Sharp, Smart, Mirrored Gardens, Guangzhou, 2016; A Potent Force: Duan Jianyu and Hu Xiaoyuan, Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, 2013. She has participated in international exhibitions and bienniales, the recent shows include: One Hand Clapping, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, U.S.A, 2018; APT8, Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, 2015; 15 Years Chinese Contemporary Art Award (CCAA), Power Station of Art, Shanghai, 2014; etc.
Peter Pakesch is a writer and curator born in 1955 in Graz, Austria. He has been Chairman of the Maria Lassnig Foundation in Vienna since 2015. Peter Pakesch was the Artistic Director of the Universalmuseum Joanneum and Founding Director of Kunsthaus Graz, Austria, from 2003 to 2015; Director of the Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland, from 1996 to 2003; and Founder of the Grazer Kunstverein in 1985-1993. From 1981 to 1993 he was the director of the eponymous Galerie Peter Pakesch
Artwork of Poster
Automatic Writing No.1
Oil, acrylic, oil-based marker and spray paint on canvas 180×200cm
Courtesy of the artist and Vitamin Creative Space.