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Project 1984, Thirty Years Later

Ye Nan


December 13, 2014 – January 31, 2015

Ye NanInstallation view
Ye NanInstallation view
Ye NanInstallation view
The Only Abstract Monument 唯一的抽象纪念碑, 2014
Suspended Conclusion 悬置的结论, 2014
The Non-present Virtual Artifact 不在场的神器, 2014

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.




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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