Reunification: Fu Meijun, Li Yuyue art exhibition
Curator: Sha Yurong
Academic host: He Libin
Artistic director: Luo Fei
Translator: R. Orion Martin
Host by TCG Nordica
Opening: 20:00, 2012-7-3
Exhibition duration: 2012-7-3 – 2012-9-15
Address: TCG Nordica, Chuangku, XiBaLu 101, Kunming
Preface to “Reunification”
By Luo Fei
Once when I was speaking with a westerner who managed a collection of photos of old Beijing, he said to me that China has no history, it only has experience. I was stunned when I heard this, because he hit exactly upon a deep wound of ours.
These words are surely more appropriate when applied to the universities in Chenggong campus, just outside of Kunming: This city has no history, only experience. As a satellite city, the art scene here does not yet have “grounded atmosphere” connections like an identity or history, so it can only relate to its immediate experience. Among those are the visual experience of the media environment, and physical pain, the most direct and universal experience. These become the main horizons and spiritual state for the works of many graduating art students. They are adept at mixing together all kind of classical images and symbols, and investing them with the inherent playfulness and anxiety of adolescence.I understand that Fu Meijun and Li Yuyue’s works were produced under such a background and logic.
Fu Meijun’s oil paint and propylene works use concise lumps of color to build closed but continuous spaces. Lightbulbs, plants, beds, tables, chairs, and other scattered furniture are placed on the canvas with people, forming the logic of a hidden narrative. He primarily focuses on scenes related to the narrative and physical experience of adolescence. In another group of works, he breaks down Chinese characters into shattered geometrical forms that playfully interact with small figures. At the same time he uses the language and themes of pop culture and the internet for his works, creating a gently humorous effect.
The subjects of Li Yuyue’s paintings are drawn from San Xing Dui Masks, and the classical visual style of the art history from East and West. In addition, he employs the smiling expressions of Cynical Realism. The form of the masks, originally used for religious purposes, seems more to possess the spying mentality and mischievous attitude of cartoons. The laughing San Xing Dui Masks, straw bodies, blocked jars and the repeatedly appearing currency certifier, these barely relevant symbols are assembled together as a metaphor for the fragmented and broken hyper-reality of contemporary visual society.
It’s natural that among the creation of students it will be easy to find every kind of zeitgeist, to see the influence images have on them, and to see their growing maturity in technique. But art is not only about art. The road of art is also about understanding a unique self and the source of creation. These grow together along with the process of creation and personal experience. I hope that this exhibition will become a blessing for Fu and Li as they begin their journey.
July 6, 2012