China Daily (Hong Kong)
Long Museum debuts three solo shows
Three solo exhibitions featuring artists Yin Zhaoyang, Chen Yujun and Li Shurui are running at the Long Museum West Bund in Shanghai.
“All three are heavyweights in China’s contemporary art scene,” Long Museum’s founding director Wang Wei said at the joint opening on Jan 31.
“Each artist presents their inner worlds in their creations. And from that, they speak about their individual observations for the age and world we live in.”
Yin Zhaoyang occupies the museum’s central space. The 50-year-old Beijing-based artist spent more than three years preparing for the exhibition, A Vast History, where he presents “oil, ink, sculptures and print — everything I worked with”, he says.
The unique main hall at Long Museum was “such a special space in the global contemporary art scene. There’s nothing comparable to it but the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern”, Yin says.
Among the artworks are oil paintings that are as long as 11 meters, and ink-wash paintings as high as 5 meters. Yin is especially fascinated with the varied textures represented in ancient Chinese art, as well as the real surface textures and qualities of rocks, which he reproduces with several large fiberglass sculptures.
“Artists can express ourselves and show rich emotions through different textures and characteristics,” Yin says. His exhibition will conclude on March 28.
Chen Yujun, an artist from Fujian who’s based in Shanghai, has chosen to invite fellow artists working with a wide range of media to join him in his exhibition, Shengzhang, or Growth.
The 44-year veteran created the first part of his exhibition, taking inspiration from a deserted luxury mansion in a small town in Zhejiang province. Once coveted and highly valued, the fancy 10-meter-long bathtub, golden decor and large rooms are now empty and forgotten.
“It makes one think about their value and the ideas that one firmly holds,” Chen says.
Works by photographers, video artists and architects are presented in several installation spaces Chen created as reproductions using the mansion’s ruins.
Visitors then step into the showcase of Chen’s own paintings and sculptures, where he works with mixed media and collages to create a fairy tale-like fantasy experience for visitors.
Chen’s exhibition will run until May 9. He will invite more artists to participate and keep updating videos, photographs and installations.
Li Shurui is featured in the third exhibition, High Light: Splendor Worn Thin in the Recesses of Time. The 39-year-old artist, who lives in Dali, Yunnan province, chose to paint abstract forms, such as the pixels in computerized images, to reflect her ideas about and perceptions of the boundaries of painting, functionalities of light and color, and broader issues in contemporary social life.
It’s the artist’s first museum exhibition. The exhibition will continue until April 10.
“We overcame great difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic to present three solo exhibitions by important artists of contemporary China,” says Wang, the museum director.
“The pandemic hit the global art market hard, and we think it’s important to put on these three exhibitions as planned. We believe art still has the power to inspire and give people much-needed courage and strength.”