Duan Jianyu, The Muse Has Awoken No.3, Oil on canvas, 181×217cm, 2011

Both Wang Xingwei’s Ji Gong and Duan Jianyu’s The Muse has Awoken No.3 both offer conspicuous comical impressions, which on the one hand, articulate a kind of literary comedy from the narrations of the figures on canvas, their expressions, motion, theatricality and etc., while stylistically – be it Wang Xingwei’s compositional momentum and the exaggeration rendered through brushwork, or Duan Jianyu’s kitsch and crass emphasis – give shape to the comedy of mannerism, providing theatricality for the language of painting. Thirdly, they are comical on a cultural history level as they have adopted the Baroque style to portray the Mad Monk and placed the Goddess on Dunhuang murals into modern countryside context, this kind of casual yet poignant fusion has taken the “La Comédie Humaine” approach to respond to the rapidly evolving Chinese society and the unsettled dust of cultural order.

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Kan Xuan, Kanxuan Ai! Video, Color, Sound, 1’22”, 1999

The location is the underground passage of the Fuxingmen subway in Beijing, a public space from one platform to another.I ran through the crowd and shouted my name and answered. It was as if I were calling myself and answering myself; It’s like I’m imitating others calling myself or I’m imitating myself in answering. I’m interested that when the spatial relationship between the caller and the responder becomes blurred, the form and result of being recognized by oneself or by others. What I shouted was “Kan Xuan! Ai!”

Yao Qingmei, Sanzu Ding and its patterns 2 — Hypotheses on the origin of the hammer-sickle sign: Shamanism, Video, Color, Sound, 11’50”, 2013–present

In 2013, during the construction operation in Longmen county of Yangshao area, Henan, workers unexpectedly discovered a red pottery tripod (“ding”). The vortex pattern on the vessel bears similarity with the modern “hammer and sickle” motif used to represent New China. According to the C-14 dating, the tripod excavated in Longmen has a five-thousand-year history. Chinese archaeologists have named its mysterious pattern the “hammer and sickle”. On the basis of archaeology, anthropology, psychoanalysis, semantics, semiotics and mythology, Professor Yao focuses her research on the origin and development of the “hammer and sickle” motif, concerning which she proposes six hypotheses with scientific significance.

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