Six Two Zen
Curated by Martina Koppel-Yang
01.09 -18.10, 2018
Beijing 2nd Space
Tang Contemporary Art is proud to announce the opening of Yang Jiechang's solo exhibition “Six Two Zen” on September 1, 2018, in the 2nd space of Beijing. Curated by Dr.Martina Köppel-Yang, this exhibition will present a video and three distinctly different ensembles of works created during the last fifteen years: Scroll of Secret Merit (2004) and Underground Flowers (2004), Tale of the 11th Day and Stranger than Paradise (2010-2018), and finally These are Still Flowers (2012 -2018).
Six Two Zen is the title of a video loop showing the artist making a terrible face like that of the revengeful God of Thunder, Leigong. In many of his works Yang proposes this kind of duality-transcending position to the viewer: there is no traditional or contemporary, no Eastern or Western, no political-correct or subversive,no beautiful or ugly, no good or bad; and, in this sense, the artist considers Leigong's terrible grimace an auspicious sign.The awareness of the existence of a position in between, an alternative view going beyond a dialectical perception of the world, marked Yang Jiechang's way of thinking from very early on and is his key strategy to relate to reality and life in a deeper and more immediate way.
b. 1956 in Foshan, Guangdong Province, China; lives and works in Paris, France, and Ittlingen, Germany
Yang Jiechang’s artistic practice as a calligrapher-painter turned global social actor inverts the contemporary Chinese art world norm of using Western avant-garde forms to critique contemporary Chinese society. He accomplishes this by adopting the performative expressivity of the traditional brush and the paradoxical dialectics of pre-modern Daoist skeptics to expose the underlying social and cultural forces that shape our contemporary global reality. Starting with his censored Massacre series in which he confronts the human toll of politically-violent authoritarian government, and continuing with his Crying Landscape series which he created for the 2003 Venice Biennale, Yang has made the critique of power, wealth, violence and terror central concerns of his artistic practice. With his purely abstract Layers of Ink works, which he inaugurated for the seminal 1989 trans-national show Magiciens de la Terre, and his figurative Ascension and Tales of the Eleventh Day series, Yang deals with the contrasting themes of material and spiritual transcendence, liberation of the individual, universal love and nature. When Yang deploys seductively masterful technique in service of psychologically disturbing or even horrifying imagery, our experience approaches the sublime—a realization of the inhuman that is both monstrous and transcendent.
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