Chambers Fine Art New York is pleased to announce Ye Nan’s Phosphorous Red and Yuan Yuan’s A World of Yesterday and Tomorrow - two very different solo shows to be shown consecutively that demonstrate the range and promise of new work being produced by younger artist in China today.
Ye Nan (born 1984 in Hangzhou) engages us directly with great, sometimes imponderable questions. In the series of prints collectively titled Phosphorous Red the artist has perfected a technique of applying phosphorous liquid, like that used in the manufacture of matches, onto the hand-made paper. These bold images contain a wide range of references including space travel and colonization, the principles of chemistry and physics, nationalism, politics and rock music. He succeeds in drawing together this potentially improbable material into an invigorating and highly-legible series of manifesto like declarations. In addition to the regular edition of three, there is also a series of unique prints modified by the artist.
Yuan Yuan (born 1984 in Beijing) is a painter who works with the very personal themes of friendship, nostalgia and fantasy. In 2008-2009, Chambers Fine Art New York showed a series of her diminutive oil paintings of friends that were notable for their spontaneity and charm. The new series for the current show also draws inspiration from informal photographs but here she delves ever more deeply into the imprecise realms of memory. These Polaroid inspired paintings, specially framed in Jingdezhen porcelain frames, capture moments among friends and are more indistinct and poetic than before. She has also produced bigger works in which her precise brushstrokes have become larger and more diffuse. Some of these show the same incident repeated indistinctly in movie-like ‘frames’. Others, painted from memory, seem to suspend random past moments before us in the present.
As the Chinese contemporary art movement comes of age this exhibition shows clearly not only how different schools of thought are emerging but also the importance of transmission from teacher to pupil. Both artists were fortunate to have studied under internationally acclaimed artists: Yuan Yuan under painter Yu Hong, professor at Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts and Ye Nan under Qiu Zhijie, a prominent figure at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou. While Yuan Yuan and Ye Nan’s works may be dissimilar they both ultimately offer, in a way that may emerge as characteristic of their generation, honest and personal statements on the world around them.
Accompanying the exhibition is a fully illustrated catalog with introductory essays by critic Philip Tinari as well as extended interviews: Qiu Zhijie with Ye Nan and Yu Hong with Yuan Yuan.