Yuan Yuan / Steam Rooms

Galerie Jean-Gabriel Mitterrand, Paris June-July 2011

Yuan Yuan, Steam Room III, 2010

JGM Gallery hosts first solo exhibition of Yuan Yuan, Chinese painter of the new generation making its debut on the international scene. Born in Hangzhou, he lives and still works in this city known for his Art Academy where he was trained in the painting department. Since the end of his studies in 2008 he has regularly participated in group exhibitions throughout China. He was even dubbed by a group of artists led by MadeIn (Xu Zhen) who organized two solo exhibitions in Shanghai and was known in a short time for his undeniable qualities as a painter. During a recent trip to China, Jean-Gabriel Mitterrand and I noticed in a group exhibition two works by this artist who was unknown to us, and we were seized by the retinal power of his paintings as well as by the way he approaches his subjects. Information taken, followed by a meeting with the artist and with those who supported him (the Shanghai Shopping Gallery, a self-managed space and led by Alexia Dehaene) the JGM gallery decided to invite the artist and to expose it. in Paris. What is immediately noticeable is the way the artist uses a well-tempered technique and the way he treats the surfaces and the material of his paintings. They invoke not only his subjective experience, but above all a constant and renewed interest in images that the rapid upheavals of his great country provide without respite. This remains mixed with an appreciable margin of attraction and critical attitude. The kitsch and dummy interiors of his compatriots, instantly enriched and modeled as a shoddy Hollywood, are declined as an exorcism. At the same time, they retain an antiquated side, like relics of a tradition that is no longer theirs but whose cultural horizon remains original. The mosaic pools also have a strong material and aesthetic presence, they reveal themselves as almost abstract and pointillist objects, continuously questioning both this history in the present and the fantasy of the neighbors. Landscapes are wandering scenes captured under an iridescent light, a dense and dreamlike nature whose magic is as if dressed in a photographic halo.
Yuan Yuan takes his first steps out of his country and wants to show that he is part of this new generation of contemporary artists, driven by the desire to be seen as emblematic interpreters of the economic and social transition of China, For better and for worse. Her canvases cause viewers to perceive that changes in context create transmutations of meaning. In this Parisian exhibition, he offers a striking insight into his research on the impact of painting and the subject's quest. His pictorial obsessions and their inspired transcriptions bear witness to his great talent.

Ami Barak