飞蛾扑火

叶楠

纽约

2013年6月13日—2013年7月19日

Accidental Death of the Snake No.2 蛇的意外死亡事件2

2012

Phosphorous, metal, acrylic, canvas 赤磷,铁,丙烯,油画布

82 6/4 x 110 1/4 in (210 x 280 cm)

Distant Water 远水

2012

Phosphorous, metal, acrylic, canvas 赤磷,铁,丙烯,油画布

90 1/2 x 74 3/4 in (230 x 190 cm)

Lost in Light No.1 迷失在光线之中1

2012 

Phosphorous, metal, acrylic, canvas 赤磷,铁,丙烯,油画布

110 1/4 x 82 1/2 in (280 × 210 cm)

Chambers Fine Art is pleased to announce the opening on June 13 of Like Moths to a Flame: Recent Works by Ye Nan. This exhibition is a development of procedures glimpsed in Phosphorous Red, Ye Nan's first exhibition at Chambers in 2010. In the past three years, Ye Nan has developed a more in-depth understanding and application of red phosphorous as a particular artistic medium while continuing to accentuate the playful and conceptual aspects of the work. 

Ye Nan was born in Hangzhou in 1984 and graduated from the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou in 2006 where he was a pupil of the prominent multi-media artist Qiu Zhijie. He has since developed a practice that embraces installation, video, photography and painting. 

In his first major body of work, Phosphorous Red, Ye Nan used phosphorous, the material used in match heads, in a suite of prints that incorporated imagery from a wide range of sources including space travel and colonization, nationalism, politics, the principles of chemistry and physics, and rock music. After two years of experimentation in which he further refined his use of this potentially dangerous material, he embarked on a series of large paintings, the subject of the present exhibition, and narrowed the focus of the thematic content of the works in order to concentrate on the deep-lying symbolism of his material. 

The title of the exhibition Like Moths to a Flame comes from Ye Nan's musings on the phenomenon of moths flying into flames which is believed to be a result of the insect's built-in celestial navigation. Moths rely on their inherent compound eye structure to determine their direction in relation to moonlight. However, when an artificial light source appears, moths misidentify the artificial light as moonlight and fly towards it. Instinctively trying to maintain a constant angle with the light source, a moth flies around the light in a spiral trajectory, circle after circle, until it dies of exhaustion; or it flies into the flame. From a scientific perspective, the act of moths flying into flames is purely instinctual; on the other hand, in a literary sense, there is deep pathos. 

In this exhibition, he covers the surface of his canvases with red phosphorous, turning the canvas into a large matchbox striker. He then strikes matches on the canvas like magical paintbrushes, creating light and energy in the dark. The energy leaves its traces on the canvas, forming an image within the painting frame. The whole process is akin to producing an artificial light that attracts moths to the image, constructing a scenario between thereal and unreal. In other groups of paintings, images of candles and chandeliers, human and animal forms as in the striking Eyes of a Psychopath and Accidental Death of a Snake No. 2, emerge from the friction of match against phosphorous. 

At the bottom edge of some of the paintings, spent matches testify to the artist’s success in avoiding the potential hazards of his technique.

纽约前波画廊荣幸地宣布将于6月13日起举办叶楠近作展《飞蛾扑火》。本次展览是叶楠继2010年在前波画廊《赤磷》展览后的延伸。在这三年的时间里,叶楠对赤磷这一特殊创作媒介有了更深层次的了解和运用。他大胆而极具创意性的思维和实践在作品中丝毫没有停顿的迹象,反而更加活跃,而且将作品中的趣味性和观念性更加突显出来。

叶楠1984年出生于杭州。他曾在杭州中国美术学院从师于著名的多媒体艺术家邱志杰并于2006年毕业。由那时起,他便开始将装置艺术,录像,摄影和绘画都融合在他的创作里。

展览标题《飞蛾扑火》源自叶楠对飞蛾扑火这一概念的思考。从科学理论上来说,飞蛾扑火源于自身的“天文导航”,飞蛾依靠其特有的复眼结构以月光来判定方向,然而当人类的光源介入,飞蛾会把人类的光源误以为是月光并投身而去。与遥远的月光不同,近距离的人类光源使得飞蛾仍然依凭本能使自己同光源保持着固定的角度,从而以一个螺旋的轨迹不断旋绕着光源飞行,如此往复的飞行直至精疲力竭而死;如遇到火光,则会造成扑火。飞蛾扑火的结局从科学角度来讲,是出于本能;另一方面,从文学的意义上来讲具有浓厚的悲情主义的成分,尽管飞蛾是一种看似蠢笨的自取灭亡,然而它的升华延续了这个物种的向光习性,这也正是飞蛾生存的意义。

此次展览中,叶楠将其作品创作过程与飞蛾扑火的原理相结合,仿佛在提示他的作品或者这个展览将会与飞蛾的生存精神具有某种内在的联系。他将红磷涂在画布表面,使画布变成一张巨大的火柴皮,一支或一把火柴充当神奇的“画笔”在画布上摩擦,在黑暗中产生光和能量,最终这些能量在画布上留下痕迹,同时也形成画面创作的形象。整个过程就像是在制造一种人为光源,在吸引着无数的飞蛾附着于画面,造成了一种介乎真实与非真实的情境。在其它几组作品中,例如令人印象深刻的《完全变态的眼睛》及《蛇的意外死亡事件2》,艺术家则通过火柴与红磷间的摩擦来呈现出蜡烛和吊灯以及人类和动物等形象。

在部分作品的底部,用过的火柴展示了艺术家成功避免了其创作过程所带来的潜在危险。

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