Tang Contemporary Art is honored to represent post-90s artist Yan Jingzhou as his sole agent within the Asian sector. As the artist’s first collaboration with the gallery, Yan’s solo exhibition "Buster’s Love” will open on April 29th, 2023 in Bangkok.
Yan Jingzhou graduated with a master’s degree from Central Academy of Fine Arts. His works are dedicated to exploring modernity from a personal perspective. His characters are indifferent and humorous, who create their own discourse space through the narrative plot in the painting. In terms of visual language, his creations have the same characteristics as other post-90s artists (i.e. presenting the virtual landscape illustration through smooth media language). Unlike the usual computer-generated language, Yan Jingzhou’s works are based on “plasticine” 3D figures. Firstly, he creates an imaginative world that includes relationships among characters; then simple and short stories are born; and finally illustrated in his paintings. The main character is Buster. Art creators of his generation are widely influenced by Western postmodernism, focusing on expressing the living conditions of modern people in their creative process. Yan Jingzhou reflects the value of contemporary time and brings him closer to the culture at present.
”Buster“ is the most classic role in Yan Jingzhou’s paintings - yellow hair, big nose, big eyes, big mouth - weird, warped, and even nerdy. It is the embodiment of the artist himself. Buster represents not only an individual but also a group. The character is inspired by early puppet animations as a reference, combining both Western cartoons and Oriental fables. The artist infuses pop cultures and urban print campaigns into his artwork and adds exciting humorous content. This metaphorical viewpoint pertains the textual characteristic of dark humor, and presents an original art form, showcasing the inner elegance of the artist and a sense of boundaries drifting off reality.
In this puppet-style enchanted space, the artist touches and narrates love and fear, pain and suffering, boredom and frustration through which he investigates existential thoughts and lingering emotions of modern young people. A combination of multi-layered cultures in the picture reassembles controversial relations between humor and satire, heaviness and lightness, polyphony and counterpoint, constructing a sarcastic image language and an absurd day of Buster. The artist uses an objectified action on the surface of things from a pseudo-subjectivity perspective, combining stochastic ”gaming features” —— an unintentional simulacra and tactical simulation (from Baudrillard). As an emulating symbol, Buster resembles a pair of eyes focusing their gaze on the mundane everyday existence; it also resembles a mouth, babbling about the happenings throughout the day. Buster is an analogy of everyone in the daily grind, the modern man who keeps sinking through life’s trivia, whose frightened mindset swells with each passing moment.
With these principles in mind, the artist brings his distinctive and rich imagination into the image, deliberately confuses the imaginative and real worlds, narrates from the view of Buster, and stretches the perspective into image language. Buster, like the world he constructed, is an absurd being without any settled meaning or value. It is straightforward and penetrating as the ‘‘love’’ shown in the paintings. I Will Love You Double and Not Your Love depicts a set of rivalry on the theme of love: Buster throws the baseball of love to the targeting individual with all his strength (an emitter), while the target is trembling and armed to the teeth. Cracks on the wall prove the “power” of love. The conflict of giving and receiving in love speaks for itself. Blue Shit and Red Shit are extensions of White Shit and Black Shit. The artist discusses the unpredictability of life with a pair of colors - the blue car always meets Red Shit as the white car to Black Shit, which may be random by nature. He reminds us of keeping calm when faced with these occasional accidents, just as the proverb says, ‘‘Go in one ear and out the other, like the east wind blowing in a horse’s ear.’’
Yan Jingzhou’s works start from the details of everyday life, taking the real stories and feelings of himself and the people around him as the main creation source. He incorporates people’s subjective experiences with rational thinking in the artwork and applies it in real life, depicting his true self using absurd artistic language to describe different situations in the world to the audience in a straightforward way. When we see his works, what is important is not the story he tells, but the part he doesn’t say, or the part he says, what we see is not what he narrates. In contrast, the symbols and texts he leaves in the pictures are the truth he meant to express: just like Buster, a provocative name that reflects the young generation’s bewilderment in spirit and discombobulation in behavior, allowing the audience to imagine their true conditions crudely. Behind this humorous and absurd image generates a half-visible narrative text. It is rumination and inflation, the silent laughing cries, the delay and suspension of un-happenings, and the modern dilemma of humanity.
April 16th, 202
I know you're bald
Acrylic on canvas 110 x 130 cm 2022
I can solve your problem
Acrylic on canvas 120 x 130 cm 2022
Acrylic on canvas 191 x 300 cm 2023
I will love you more
Acrylic on canvas 109 x 160 cm 2022
You love me, what about him?
Acrylic on canvas 180 x 131 cm 2022
Sunflowers and buster Bus Gasol
Acrylic on canvas 150 x 300 cm 2022
Acrylic on canvas 130 x 190 cm 2022
The King of Utopia
Acrylic on canvas 250 x 400 cm 2022
Acrylic on canvas 140 x 160 cm 2022
Acrylic on canvas 87 x 160 cm 2022
Acrylic on canvas 135 x 169 cm 2023
I'll be at the buster slaughterhouse soon
Acrylic on canvas 150 x 180 cm 2022
Not your love
Acrylic on canvas 117x150cm 2022
Acrylic on canvas 158 x 160 cm 2023
Crossroad of Camel flower
Acrylic on canvas 210 x 400 cm 2022
Another Side of
Acrylic on canvas 140 x 160 cm 2023
born in Handan, Hebei province, China. He now lives and works in Beijing.
Yan Jingzhou’s works are dedicated to the exploration of modernity from a personal perspective. The protagonists in the paintings are grotesque and distorted dolls. The absurd plays are full of interesting and slightly poignant stories. The plot is usually joyous and worldly, and at times even a bit crass. Material inspiration usually comes from the relaxed and casual life of the public. When you savor it carefully, you can always detect a touch of absurd irony in dark humor. This arrangement of themes possesses unspeakable repressed desires and ignorant symbolism; there are also some light flashes——a Chinese way of thinking with generational influence from the 90s——creating a sense of boundary that is free from the real world. While maintaining a sense of alienation, Yan expresses the individual's doubts and introspection about real life through the momentary gaze of the absurd puppet.
is a curator, art critic, and curator assistant at Tang Contemporary Art exhibition department. Yali graduated from Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts in 2017; her research centers around art exhibition planning and case study of contemporary artists. Published articles on contemporary art include: “The Misunderstood Zen & The Saved Spirit” (2022.4) , “The Future Trend of Trendy Art”（2021.9), published by Art Market Magazine；“How Should Art Institutions Respond to the Epidemic Situation” (2020.3) published by Art Attitude；“A 40-year Exploration of Contemporary Ink Painting”(2019.02), published by Art Bussiness; “Voyage — Taking a Standpoint for Youth in the Name of art” (2018.09), “Reboot Virtuality：Creating a Mixed Space”(2016.10), published by Norther Art, etc. Curatorial experiences include: You Jin: Fractal Dimension, Tang Contemporary Art, Hong Kong（2023)；The other (female) Variations, Zero Space, Beijing (2022)；Ren Junfeng: Solitude Aeturnus, Cheng Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2021)；Xiao Li: Studying The Nature of Woods, Cheng Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing（2021)；Zhang Qiang: Cloud Graphy, Cheng Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2021), etc.