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04.15.2018 → 05.28.2018

N3 Contemporary Art is proud to announce, that the re-naming and restructuring of the institution will be celebrated with the opening exhibition “Approach Spirits,” featuring works by Shang Yang, Yan Binghui, Yang Jiechang, Yu Youhan. “Approach Spirits” was curated by the esteemed Dai Zhuoqun, and will be on display from April 15 to May 28.

The exhibition’s title comes from the Classic of Poetry, which asks, “approach spirits, you cannot surmise; and can you treat them with indifference?” It evokes the subtle, transcendent, and divine halo of art. The art of art in of itself is the highest level of artistic creation. To achieve “grace,” to reach “god,” or even say “divinity,” cannot be clearly imagined nor even understood. The direction and halo of art are not part of daily social issues, nor can we use general knowledge and rational logic to reach them. It is an unknowable experience, much less a tool for the understanding of reality. The “god” in art is a transcendent creation of real time and space that deepens the essence of life.

The four artists invited to participate in “Approach Spirits” were born in the 1940s and 50s: Shang Yang (1942), Yu Youhan (1943), Yan Binghui (1956), and Yang Jiechang (1956). Without a doubt, they are among Chinese contemporary art’s earliest pioneers, especially Shang and Yu, who experienced the long and intense evolution of art from revolutionary realism to the new period of political opening-up. Throughout eras, they have ceaselessly experimented in their art and continuously dismantled their egos. Yan Binghui and Yang Jiechang’s ink experiments and spiritual writing captured the atmosphere of the same period, the non-narrative structure and monumental imagery of their work becoming landmark examples of 1980s ink painting.

The exhibition not only displays recent work by Shang Yang and Yu Youhan, bringing together comprehensive use of materials and abstraction, but also links it together with pieces by Yan Binghui and Yang Jiechang from the golden age of ink and wash experiments in the 1980s and 90s. The exhibition is also fortunate to feature drafts for Yang Jiechang’s participation at the “Magiciens de la terre” exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in 1989.

Works

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