The Summer Palace, about 1976.
Courtesy the artist.
The work of Yang Fudong represents a breakthrough in contemporary visual production in China. His first film, An Estranged Paradise, which premiered at Documenta in Kassel in 2002 showcased a new narrative and visual sensibility steeped in a contemporary aesthetic informed by multiple registers of heritage; his monumental cycle Seven Intellectuals in Bamboo Forest was completed over the ensuing five years and poetically rendered the anomie of his generation as it came of age in the early years of the new millennium. Further projects have expanded his cinematic thinking into the realms of the spatial and the multi-temporal, as his films have grown into installations that sometimes encompass traces of their own making.
For his most comprehensive institutional exhibition to date and his first in Beijing, Yang Fudong will present the first installment of his “Library Film Project,” begun in the immediate aftermath of Seven Intellectuals as an ongoing quest to create a movie that can contain a complex reality, at once real and constructed. Inspired by his childhood in the rural eastern outskirts of Beijing, this chapter will weave together elements of past and present, public and personal. The exhibition is curated by UCCA Director Philip Tinari and UCCA Curator Yan Fang.
About the Artist
Yang Fudong (b. 1971, Beijing, lives and works in Shanghai) graduated from the Department of Oil Painting, China Academy of Art in Hangzhou. He is among the most influential Chinese artists working today. Yang began creating video works in the late 1990s. His works offer unique visual interpretations through multiple cultural perspectives interlaced with experiences of space and time with photography, painting, film, and installation.
Yang Fudong has participated in prestigious international art exhibitions at venues including Suzhou Museum, Suzhou (2019); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2017); Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris (2016); the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2013); Tate Liverpool (2007); Tate Modern, London (2004); and Centre Pompidou, Paris (2003). His works have also been included in the Lyon Biennale (2013); Sharjah Biennial 11 (2013); the 17th Biennale of Sydney (2010); the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007); the 5th Asia-Pacific Triennial (2006); FACT Liverpool Biennial (2004); the 50th Venice Biennale (2003); Documenta 11 (2002); the 4th Shanghai Biennale (2002); and the 7th Istanbul Biennial (2001), among others.
Solo exhibitions of his work have been organized widely at acclaimed institutions and galleries, including “Endless Peaks” (ShanghART, Shanghai, 2020); “Dawn Breaking” (Long Museum (West Bund), Shanghai, 2018); “Moving Mountains” (Shanghai Center of Photography, Shanghai, 2016); “Twin Tracks: Yang Fudong Solo Exhibition” (Yuz Museum, Shanghai, 2015); “The Light That I Feel” (SALT, Sandhornoya, 2014); “Yang Fudong: Estranged Paradise, Works 1993-2013” (Kunsthalle Zurich, Zurich, 2013); “The Works of Yang Fudong: Quote Out of Context” (OCT Contemporary Art Terminal, Shanghai, 2012); “Yang Fudong: One Half of August” (Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art, London, 2011); “Yang Fudong: Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest and Other Stories” (National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, 2010); “Dawn Mist, Separation Faith: Yang Fudong's Solo Exhibition” (Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai, 2009); “Yang Fudong: The General's Smile” (Hara Museum, Tokyo, 2008); “Yang Fudong: Don't Worry, It Will Be Better…” (Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, 2005); “Yang Fudong” (Castello di Rivoli Museo d'arte contemporanea, Turin, 2005); and “Five Films” (The Renaissance Society, Chicago, 2004).