26 February - 2 April 2011
Marian Goodman Gallery Paris is pleased to present its fourth exhibition of work by Chinese artist Yang Fudong. We will be showing his most recent multichannel film Fifth Night and a series of seven black and white photographs entitled International Hotel.
International Hotel was inspired by popular images of swimmers at the pool side during competitions. He staged these moments of waiting, joy and rest with models around the Art Deco pool of the International Hotel in Shanghai. For the artist the series is like a film with each photo representing a scene. The environment, make-up and allure of the girls evoke the Chinese “modern women” as seen in advertisements, calendars, film posters before the Second World War, which contributed to the feminine emancipation. Just like the women of this period, the models in the photographs smile at the camera and pretend to react to an action taking place beyond the lens. Yang Fudong captures the complex issues that confront young women in contemporary China.
Fifth Night is a video installation composed of seven synchronized projections depicting the streets of Shanghai’s old town at night. In the middle of the studio, a stage has been constructed, a tramway is being repaired and different unrelated characters appear. The artist uses seven cameras which film the same scene from seven different angles, with variations of scale, depths of field and tracks of movement. The artist has used a technique he calls “multiple views film” and what the viewer could perceive as separate instances, are actually simultaneously tied together into one scene which complete our usual way of seeing things. The viewer’s attention is drawn to the characters’ expressions, rendering even the simplest actions monumental. The artist is interested by the beauty which appears by chance; and with the multiple views of the camera he captures the grace and subtle reactions of the actors. The work questions reality, our perception and our relationship with time.
Born in 1971 in Beijing, Yang Fudong lives and works in Shanghai. He trained as a painter before devoting himself to photography, video and film towards the end of the 1990s. His five part film Seven Intellectuals in Bamboo Forest (2003-2007) gave him international recognition as one of the most interesting young Chinese artists of his generation. At the heart of his works is the disorientation of youth in his country, torn between tradition and the western lifestyle as well as the construction of identity fashioned by mythology, the personal memory and experience. Infused with existential questions, his works have a beautiful aesthetic quality which is sometimes reminiscent of films from the 1930s and the post war ‘film noir’.
Yang Fudong’s next solo show opens on the 18th March 2011 at the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation in Sydney. In 2010, he had solo shows at Kunsthaus Baselland in Basel (Switzerland), at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens (Greece) and at Kino Kino in Sandnes (Norway) ; in 2009 at the Hara Museum in Tokyo, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, at the Asia Society and Museum in New York, at the MuHKA in Antwerp (Belgium), at the Zendai Museum of Modern Art in Shanghai. Other important solo shows took place at the Phoenix Art Museum (2008), at Parasol Unit, London (2006), at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2005), at Castello di Rivoli, Turin (2005), at Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2005), at the Renaissance Society, Chicago (2004).
The film Fifth Night has been shown in Rehearsal: 8th Shanghai Biennale in 2010. This same year, Yang Fudong participated in other group shows, among them : 21st Century: Art in the First Decade, Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland; The Beauty of Distance: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age, 17th Biennale of Sydney; Shanghai, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco. In 2009, the important exhibitions included: Breaking Forecast, 8 Key Figures of China's New Generation Artists, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; The State of Things, BOZAR, Brussels; Shanghai Kino, Kunsthalle Bern (Switzerland); Reversed Images, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago. We can also mention Sprout from White Nights, Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm (2008) ; The 52nd International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice (2007); The Real Thing: Contemporary Art from China, Tate Liverpool (2007); Asia Pacific Triennale of Contemporary Art, Queensland (2006); Time Zones: Recent Film and Video, Tate Modern, London (2005); Chinese Pavilion and Utopia Station, the 50th Biennale di Venezia, Venice (2005); Liverpool Biennial (2004), Documenta 11, Kassel (2002).