The art of Yang Fudong (born 1971) reflects the ideals and anxieties of a generation born after China’s Cultural Revolution, struggling to find their place amid the country’s rapid transformation. His dreamlike films and film-installations feature long, suspended shots and multiple storylines. Yang calls his protagonists “intellectuals,” evoking ancient China’s literati-artists and intellectuals who avoided participation in worldly affairs. In other works Yang focuses on the sense of isolation and loss increasingly present in China’s contemporary society as communities are scattered, traditional rural villages dissolved, and the fight for survival takes precedence. In his most recent multi-channel film-installations, Yang shifts his attention toward a reflection on the process of filmmaking. The book, edited by Philippe Pirotte and Beatrix Ruf, includes a comprehensive selection of Yang Fudong’s photographic and film work, as well as essays by film scholar Rey Chow, artists and curators Ho Rui An and Colin Chinnery.
To mark the occasion of Yang Fudong’s second solo exhibition at the foundation (13 September–6 November 2011), Parasol unit has produced a unique and comprehensive monograph dedicated to the work of Yang Fudong. The book focuses on the works featured in the exhibition but also includes insights into the meticulous creation of Yang Fudong’s film productions.
Trained as a painter, the acclaimed Chinese artist, Yang Fudong chose rapidly the medium of film and video to execute his art. Yang Fudong’s work epitomizes how the recent and rapid modernization of China has overthrown its traditional values and culture and deals with this dichotomy skillfully to create works that are timeless and of highest aesthetic quality. This exhibition catalogue is published on the occasion of “No Snow on the Broken Bridge,” films and videos by Yang Fudong at Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art in London. In addition to featuring exhibited works it contains an overview of Yang Fudong’s oeuvre.
This survey of Yang Fudongís films traces the artistís evolving understanding of his homeland and explores the frisson between Chinaís traditions and its ever-accelerating future.
Parkett 76 features three rising stars of the international art scene: Julie Mehretu, Yang Fudong and Lucy McKenzie. As her marks and gestures are flung into motion upon the canvas, Julie Mehretu paints a picture of an infrastructure gone awry. Their layered, calligraphic density suggests Leonardo da Vinci’s ecstatically charged tidal drawings. In the frozen situations encountered in Yang Fudong’s images, the viewer must always ask, “Will the protagonist survive?” Fudong’s narratives read like brief, melancholic confessions, an “abstract cinema” that, in his own words, functions as “a non-describable collision in one’s heart.” Over the last decade, Lucy McKenzie has been umbilically attached to Glasgow’s underground, guided by her elegant draftsmanship and continuously undermining her own adopted visual rhetoric–which includes facades from Tintin, Socialist mural projects and Mackintoshian Modernism. Texts by Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson, Chris Abani, Madeleine Schuppli, Marcella Beccaria, Yuko Hasegawa, Zhang Wei, Neil Mulholland, Bennett Simpson, Isabelle Graw, Trevor Smith, Philipp Kaiser, Johanna Burton, Vincent Precoil, Hans Rudolf Reust, Matthias Haldemann and Bill Arning.
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