2012 - Trapped: Yue Minjun’s New Works

Exhibition: Trapped: Yue Minjun’s New Works

Duration: Sep. 29 – Oct. 20, 2012

Venue: Chengdu Museum of Contemporary Art (C1, Tianfu software, Tianfu Avenue,Chengdu,Sichuan,China )

Curator: Lü Peng

Organizer: Chengdu Museum of Contemporary Art

Reviewing Yue Minjun’s art career, we could always discover a contradictive dilemma that Chinese artist normally trapped in. For the conflict and contradiction created by stabled old system and ideology confronting the new social reality and concepts, artist created the impressive Smiling Faces series. Many years later, when Yue Minjun should walk into global context, he has to reflect on tradition and modernity, nationality and internationality. As a result, he created Painting Maze series in this show. Works exhibited in this exhibition reflects latest thought of the artist toward art and he reminded audiences: Yue Minjun is not a mask represented only by the Smiling Faces, he is more of a lively man, who kept constant thoughts on questions in reality and art.

"Yue Minjun art" excerpts

Yue Minjun is a thoughtful artist, even though he appears to be silent. He has always kept reading and analyzing the problem in his own art. In the "smiling face", Yue Minjun spent a lot of time to think "what is art"? Initially, he set up a "maze" of "looking for terrorists," and he argues that politics, religion, culture itself may be "maze", and human beings are engaged in boring games that are irrelevant but de facto linked. "Maze series" works is Yue Minjun thinking of the conversion, and soon, he from the previous cultural background of human consensus to their own culture of traditional thinking. About the time of about 2007, he began to use the traditional garden to build the "art of the maze", the early years of painting and painting experience also makes him look back to traditional artists - almost those who use traditional materials and tools to paint the painter, he loves Their art, he is thinking, why these painters have unique characteristics of civilization works are not considered "contemporary art", he interesting arrangements to let us review these Chinese painters, and the establishment of a new composition order. However, Yue on the traditional Chinese ink more is to hold a reflection of the attitude. He said:
Many people say that in the "maze" series, I put the traditional Chinese painting on the inside, is the return to the traditional performance. In fact, not, I completely from the critical point of view to create "maze". Our nation after a long exploration, we have been facing the world for a long time, some people still in a self-enclosed. I would like to tell the audience that China's pen and ink can be something that is not worth mentioning, and there is nothing mysterious, and it is not worth the touted with a unique national character. Those things are easy to do with oil painting. To. I painted these things, not in the interpretation of traditional culture, in fact, in the irony of traditional culture. My early works have a more direct discussion of politics, but politics is only a cultural representation. All the acts of our nation are caused by our cultural psychology. I think I should create some works from a cultural point of view, which may be more valuable for contemporary art.
Indeed, the use of the word "maze" indicates that the artist's inner existence is confusing and problematic, at least, he begins to analyze and criticize the classic context of his own civilization. At this time the artist's starting point, however, the images of the different artists who appear in different periods of time are evenly arranged on a plane, which does not mean that the artist wants to restore the scattered perspective, but an evaluation: The art should be equal, so that you can find the art itself. However, the artist did not explain why he would be very smooth to draw the familiar image of those people, why use a kind of gray and blue, and this blue in different combinations of images is easy to think of "blue and white" fun , Not to mention the picture is so with the possibility of aesthetic association.
The artist also said:
Art development to today, in the inevitable integration with the world, there are so many people holding a brush painted mountains painted water, and advocated 'only the nation is the world! Many times we say that the more the nation is the world, this is the separation of their own nation and the world from the point of view, and not the creation of the various peoples of the world as part of their own, as their own Of nutrition. We always love from the nationalist point of view of other national art creation of things, this is a too self-esteem somewhat narrow posture.
However, even in the same use of "Chinese painting", "Chinese painting", "ink painting" under the terms of painting people, there is still a "contemporary" experiment this problem. Especially after 2000, how to see from the evolution of globalization, cultural changes and differences have become an important issue, and abandon the "European Center" perspective to re-examine the task of art history has been placed in front of people, simply from Whether the concept of logic and symbolic logic on the art of "contemporary" judgment has been very difficult. In this way, as long as we are more comprehensive look at the reality of human civilization, we can find that different countries, ethnic and regional changes in the arts may present a way out of the inertia of the logic of judgment.
Yue Minjun in the "maze series" in the traditional symbols and modern things juxtaposition, is a reflection of China from the traditional farming society and contemporary culture between the conflict between the starting point, at the same time, he would like to through this homogeneous plane Reflecting a cultural dilemma. At least, the artist admitted that it was his starting point or even the subject. However, the physical nature of the picture itself and the information presented are multiple and complex, and these images give association, reflection and compassion for viewers who are familiar with their civilized background. And the artist's approach and the resulting effect is also likely to lead to new aesthetic sympathy, and then into a new taste or even style. In any case, Yue Minjun's new criticism creates a new painting tendency because of the particularity of his starting point. This tendency is consistent with the previous "smile" in the logic of the starting point, but because of the inevitable history of the image and the symbol Features that obscure the relevance of the starting point, resulting in the audience of this new stage of the work of the other understanding and reading. In turn, this reading and the period of knowledge and culture in the field of traditional civilization calm and introspection trend linked.
"Maze" is the latest experiment of Yue Minjun, this turn of art and the continuation of the history of the image shows that: Chinese contemporary art in the new century is undergoing new changes, its main feature is the specific historical period of ideology and politics The problem is abandoned, and turned to focus on different civilizations to re-examine, compare, analyze the judge, and from a variety of perspectives to see the relationship between different civilizations and history. When Yue Minjun pointed out that narrow nationalism is harmful at the same time, also prompted a variety of civilizations coexist and the possibility of interaction. This attitude and position not only abandoned the logic of the essence, but also to avoid the non-either of the narrow centralist logic, opened the new possibilities of art. In any of the possible times, the possibility of restricting the new liberty is that Yue Minjun provides new artistic possibilities and aesthetic results for the new century in limited painting materials.
Excerpt from Lu Peng "Yue Minjun art"
July 2012 in Chengdu


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