Artist Talk: Yang Fudong

It’s the Ice is the special extension of “Endless Peaks”, which is consisted of three different parts. Including the 5-channel colour, b&w and silent video present monk’s daily life, working and resting on the Mt. Tiantai. The triptych work, Endless Peaks – It’s the Wind, is made of photography, acrylic and drawing on wood panel. Along with the “icy floor” which is installed with the stainless steel mirror that completes the overall concept.

Last year, in my solo exhibition “Endless Peaks,” I unfolded the entire presentation as a “painted film,” in which the video, photography, and painting, including the black mirror and the cavernous hole towards the second floor, are fragmented clips of a film that integrate into the entire exhibition space. The concept of “painted film” is similar to the format of ancient Chinese handscroll painting, which unfolds from left to right, with a narrative structure connected as a montage. Now I’m working on the publication of Endless Peaks, which is again is akin to a literary or textural film that does not engage writing but adopts authentic images of landscape, paintings, frames from moving images to stimulate the reader’s imagination. If you have seen the exhibition, this viewing and reading experience will constitute a different version of this film. Rather than conceiving it as a classic ninety-minute film, it’s an expanded concept. It is both different from and related to my previous “library film” and “tomorrow’s audience” style “museum film.”

In short, it is a film concept that tries to break away from the general narrative film and emphasizes its film format. This attempt marks an essential idea in our oriental art. For instance, the ambiguity in Chinese culture is often unspeakable but understood through one’s impression, and its subtlety affords room for imagination and spiritual depth. My practice has been approaching “insightful understanding,” which often comes from the viewer’s understanding. And the so-called “imaginative film” expands from one’s imagination, invisible and yet to happen, where the viewer can watch the work in parts. From which, one would come up with visions and atmospheres from this hidden and complete concept.

I have a background in oil painting, but today it is impossible for my paintings to return to the previous perception and expression. I may have pursued techniques in the past, but now when I paint to express my ideas and concepts, where I ask myself whether I would reach and express them through painting? In the past, I relied on film to achieve “insightful understanding,” but now I wonder if the same is possible through painting. I juxtapose different media, figure drawings, acrylic paintings, and photography to forming a “triptych,” like a montage of images, which embodies a conscious attempt to undo the boundaries and create a new narrative relationship and structure.


Yang Fudong

Yang Fudong was born in Beijing in 1971, and now lives and works in Shanghai. He graduated from the Department of Oil Painting, China Academy of Art in Hangzhou. He is among the most influential Chinese artists today. Yang has started to create video works since late 1990s. His works form a unique cultural visual interpretation through multiple cultural perspectives interlaced with experiences of space and time with photograph, film and installation. They are all characterized by multi-perspectives, exploring the structures and forms of identities in myths, personal memories and life experiences.
Yang Fudong has participated in prestigious international art exhibitions including Su Zhou Museum (2019); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (2017); Foundation Louis Vuitton, Paris, France (2016); The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2013); Tate Liverpool (2007); Tate Modern (2004); Centre Pompidou (2003). His works also included in La Biennale de Lyon (2013); Sharjah Biennial 11 (2013); 17th Biennale of Sydney (2010); 52nd International Art Exhibition Venice Biennale (2007); The 5th AsiaPacific Triennial (2006); FACT Liverpool Biennial (2004); 50th International Art Exhibition Venice Biennale (2003); Documenta 11 (2002); 4th Shanghai Biennale (2002); 7th International Istanbul Biennial (2001) etc. 
He had solo-shows at most acclaimed institutions and galleries, such as Dawn Breaking, Long Museum (West Bund), Shanghai (2018); Moving Mountains, Shanghai Center of Photography, Shanghai (2016); Twin Tracks: Yang Fudong Solo Exhibition, Yuz Museum, Shanghai (2015); The Light That I Feel, SALT outdoor video installation, Sandhornoya, Norway (2014); Yang Fudong: Estranged Paradise, Works 1993-2013, The Kunsthalle Zurich, Switzerland (2013); Quote Out of Context, Solo Exhibition of Yang Fudong, OCT Contemporary Art Terminal, Shanghai (2012); One Half of August, Yang Fudong Solo Exhibition, Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art, London, U.K. (2011); Yang Fudong: Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest and Other Stories, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece (2010); Dawn Mist, Separation Faith, Yang Fudong’s Solo Exhibition, Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai (2009); Yang Fudong: the General’s Smile, Hara Museum, Tokyo, Japan (2008); Yang Fudong: Don’t worry, it will be better…, Kunsthalle, Wien, Austria (2005) ; Yang Fudong, Castello di Rivoli Museo d’arte contemporanea, Torino, Italy (2005); Five Films, The Renaissance Society, Chicago, U.S.A (2004) etc.

Please scan the QR code to follow us on WeChat :新世纪当代艺术基金会