Landscape of Yimengshan. He emerged as the undoubted leader of the so-called Political Pop Movement at the end of the 1980s. The art of the peasant communes associated with the Cultural Revolution had enjoyed a minor success in the West, especially among those who were politically on the left.
Landscape of Yimengshan
Yu Youhan belongs to a generation which counts the Cultural Revolution as a vital part of its experience. He was born in 1943, and therefore was an adult when it began, though still only in his early twenties. He graduated form the Central Institute of Technology in Beijing in 1970. He emerged as the undoubted leader of the so-called Political Pop Movement at the end of the 1980s. The art of the peasant communes associated with the Cultural Revolution had enjoyed a minor success in the West, especially among those who were politically on the left. Political Pop was, however, the first recognizably contemporary style to emerge from China, and it attracted a great deal of attention, opening the way for other varieties of Chinese contemporary art and leading to the situation which exists today, where Chinese artists are honoured participants in many major international exhibitions, such as the Venice Biennale.
The link between art and concept is trendy now. Unfortunately, for me, "ultra" means exceeding, while "ultra-concept" means "no concept".
Why did I draw paintings "without" concept? Because there are too many "concepts" in art. I am unable to identify which are new, which are old, which are concepts, and which are not. 80 years ago, Marcel Duchamp challenged art with a urinal. I understand that he was opposing the narrowness of art, but today, a new narrowness has been formed again. Ever-innovative art is full of concepts and strangeness, while lacking value. Honesty is being beaten by tricks.
Art is valued for its freedom, and I have the right to choose.
In the image: 'Yi Mengshan 01', 200 x 128, Yu Youhan, Acrylic on canvas, 2004.
Yu Youhan, born in Shanghai, in 1943, graduated from the Central Academy of Art and Design in Beijing, lives in Shanghai now. His works have been shown in many of the major exhibitions of contemporary art from China abroad, including China's New Art, Post-1989, Hong Kong; the touring show China Avant Garde, Berlin, Germany; Odense, Denmark, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; 46th Venice Biennale; and the 22nd Sao Paulo International Bienial. His paintings were also the subject of a solo show at the Maison de la China, Paris, in 1995.
- November 27 - December 26 ,2004
(opening: November 26th, 2004, Friday, 6:30-8:30pm
H-Space, 50 Moganshan Rd/Suzhou Creek, bldg 18 - Shangai