Project 1984, Thirty Years Later

Ye Nan

BEIJING

December 13, 2014 – January 31, 2015

The Only Abstract Monument 唯一的抽象纪念碑

2014

Oil on canvas 布上油画

68 3/4 x 59 3/4 in (175 x 152 cm)

Suspended Conclusion 悬置的结论

2014

Oil on canvas 布上油画

59 3/4 x 51 1/4 in (152 x 130 cm)

The Non-present Virtual Artifact 不在场的神器

2014

Oil on canvas 布上油画

68 3/4 x 63 in (175 x 160 cm)

Chambers Fine Art is pleased to announce the opening on December 13, 2014 of Ye Nan: Project 1984, Thirty Years Later, the artist’s third exhibition at the gallery. Born in Hangzhou in 1984, he graduated from the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou where he was a pupil of the prominent multi-media artist Qiu Zhijie. 

In his first major body of work Phosphorous Red, he 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. In the suite of ambitious painting that followed, Like Moths to a Flame, he continued his exploration of phosphorous not only as a medium but as a metaphor with a wide range of applications. 

Ye Nan’s new oil paintings in Project 1984, Thirty Years Later represent a major new development in his work. He has not abandoned his predilection for establishing relationships between objects of widely differing significance but for the first time he uses the medium of oil painting to unify them in ambiguous spatial settings. He refers to these irrational conglomerations of forms, both organic and geometrical, as “monuments relating to monuments” and “monuments that do not commemorate persons or events that exist in reality.” 

Contrasting with the oil paintings is a new group of installations in which Ye Nan allows a diverse range of unmodified materials and recognizable objects to assume double identities, simultaneously items of daily use and participants in a free-ranging visual drama resulting from their improbable juxtaposition.

Born in 1984, the year that English novelist George Orwell chose as the title of his classic novel predicting a future totalitarian state, Ye Nan looks beyond appearances in order to create new realities. In paintings such as The Peak is Still There – Climber’s Paradise and Suspended Conclusion, and the ambitious The Climber in the Waterfall, the enigmatic thematic material of the paintings is further enriched by poetic titles that relate only indirectly to what we see. 

In rejecting the use of unconventional materials and the performative aspect of his oeuvre in his paintings, Ye Nan has returned to the seamless surfaces favored by Surrealists such as Salvador Dali and René Magritte without embracing their oneiric interests. While he was studying under the influential multi-media artist Qiu Zhijie in Hangzhou, he did not focus on oil painting but has now reached a stage in his development when he is prepared to investigate how this tradition-laden medium might be used for unconventional purposes.

前波画廊荣幸地宣布将于2014年12月13日起举办展览《叶楠:1984计划—重生于2014年12月13日》,这是艺术家在前波画廊的第三次个展。叶楠1984年出生于杭州,曾在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。

在其第一组重要系列作品《赤·磷》中,他大胆尝试了红磷这一制作火柴的原材料来创作丝网版画。这组作品的创作内容来源于广泛的主题,它们包括太空航行、殖民化、民族主义、政治、化学和物理原理,以及摇滚音乐等。而之后的大型绘画作品系列《飞蛾扑火》中,他不仅仅继续探索对红磷这一特殊创作媒材的运用,同时也将红磷本身延用成为一种隐喻,将创作过程和内容巧妙地结合起来。

《叶楠:1984计划—重生于2014年12月13日》中的油画代表了他一个新的创作发展阶段。艺术家并没有放弃将各个领域的事物联系在一起的喜好,但这次他首次通过油画这一媒材在模糊的空间中为不同物态建立关系。将这些既自然有机又成几何形状的超现实主义形态组合解释为“某种关于纪念碑之纪念碑”以及“并不纪念现实中存在的人或事件的纪念碑”。与其创作的油画对比是一组新的装置作品。叶楠用各种未经修饰的原材料和容易识别的日常用品来组成双重身份。这些难以置信的并列组合,变成了一个随机的视觉剧场。

1984,也是英国古典小说家乔治·奥威尔(George Orwell)用来命名他创作的未来极权主义幻想小说。叶楠在看透了表面现象后创建了一个新的现实。如在《山顶依然在那里之攀岩者的乐园》、《悬置的结论》及《瀑布上的攀岩者》作品中,其神秘的创作原题再加上充满诗意的名称将我们间接引领到谜一般神奇的世界。

直到最近他一直拒绝传统媒材的运用而对创作作品的表演过程而痴迷。现在叶楠又回到了被萨尔瓦多·达利(Salvador Dali)及雷內·馬格利特(René Magritte)等超现实主义艺术家所偏爱,天衣无缝的二维平面,只是并没有继承他们对梦幻的迷恋。当他在杭州从师于著名多媒体艺术家邱志杰时,叶楠从未专注过油画创作。然而今天他拾起画笔来开启一个新的创作阶段,去探究如何运用油画这一传统媒材来创作出非传统的作品。

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