时间 ： 2021年05月12日至 6月11日（周二至周日10:00 – 17:00）
开幕活动： 2021年5月16日（周日），15:00 至 17:30
地点 ： 北京市朝阳区酒仙桥北路9号恒通国际创新园C9号楼蓝色光标公司北门锦都艺术中心展厅
Exhibition： The Moderate Rebellion –——Wang Yusang’s Southern China
Curator ：Rong Jian
Academic Host： Wang Duanting
Artist： Wang Yusang
Host： Beijing Jindu Art Centre
Duration： 2021.05.12 – 06.11 (10:00 – 17:00, Tuesday – Sunday)
Opening Ceremony： 15:00 – 17:30, 2021.05.16 (Sunday)
Venue： Exhibition Hall of Beijing Jindu Art Centre, North Entrance of BlueFocus Co Ltd，Building C9, Universal Creative Park, No 9 Jiuxianqiao North Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing
竹石图 Bamboo and Stone，布面油画 Oil on Canvas，2020，80×120cm
易景江南 Gardens with Assorted Scenes in Southern China，2020，布面油画 Oil on Canvas，100×200cm
日照翠松图 Green Pine Trees on Sunny Day，2021，布面油彩丙烯 Oil and Acrylic on Canvas，80×200cm
如歌如翔 Flying and Singing，布面油画 Oil on Canvas，2017，80×160cm
祥龙听琴图 Auspicious Dragon Rock and Guqin，2019，布面油画 Oil on Canvas，80×160
The Moderate Rebellion
An Analysis on the Paintings of Post-Conceptualism by Wang Yusang
By Wang Duanting
Taking the first look at the oil paintings newly created by Wang Yusang, we are mostly attracted by the Chinese ancient classical breath in his artworks; and shortly after that, however, we would feel puzzled by some unfamiliarity presented in the paintings. How come we have such experience of both familiarity and unfamiliarity? Or what secrets are hidden in the artworks?
The ancient gardens in Suzhou are the main theme of these paintings by Wang Yusang. As such real objects in the Suzhou gardens as buildings, walls, moon-shaped gates, Taihu stones, trees, flowers and plants are depicted in the paintings, it looks like these artworks are based on scenery sketching in the Suzhou gardens, or are realistic depictions of the gardens. However, many parts of the paintings are presented as unrealistic images. Viewers who have good knowledge of the art history are clear that most of these images are from Chinese ancient paintings. For example, the images of Taihu rock, plant, guqin, square table, incense table and incense burner in Auspicious Dragon Rock and Guqin (2019) are taken from the Chinese ancient paintings Auspicious Dragon Rock and Listening to Guqin, both of which are created by Emperor Zhao Ji of the Song Dynasty. And the bird and plant in Peach Blossoms and Turtledove in Spring Garden (2020) are reproductions of the bird and plant in Emperor Zhao Ji’s painting named Peach Blossom and Turtledove; while the ink bamboo in Wang Yusang’s Bamboo and Stone (2020) is reproduced from the artwork by Wen Tong, a well-known artist in the Song Dynasty. Further to using images from Chinese ancient paintings in his artworks, Wang Yusang has also created some images based on contemporary photos, for instance, the magpie which appears in many of his paintings. In fact, the series of Suzhou garden paintings by Wang Yusang is subjective creation under the guise of objective depiction. More precisely, these artworks are to a large extent created from duplicating, diverting and restructuring of ready-made images. This way of art creation is known as the method of Conceptualism, but it is in nature substantially different from the conceptual art initiated by Marcel Duchamp (1887- 1968), or even completely the opposite. As such, this way of art creation is labeled as Post-Conceptualism.
We know that when Marcel Duchamp used ready-made products to invent Conceptualism in 1913, his original intention is of anti-aesthetics, anti-tradition and anti-art. In other words, Conceptualism was formulated to rebel against established artistic standards, and its function is critical, which resulted in the widely accepted knowledge today that the basic character of Conceptualism is critical rather than aesthetic. The development of western art constantly follows the law of negation of negation. When the Neo-Dadaism (namely the Pop Art) started to prevail in the 1950’s, Conceptualism changed to a new art from anti-art, and even gained value in formal aesthetics. In the time of contemporary art, Conceptualism as a mature and popular art style had been more and more enriched and deepened by artists. By then, Conceptualism had possessed all the functions that previous art trends had, and it became both narrative and lyrical, which is the feature of Post-Conceptualism.
In his Suzhou garden painting series, Wang Yusang cleverly put together real scenes and ready-made images and had them seamlessly matched with each other, and he produced what is hard to distinguish between the virtual and the real. Looking closely at his paintings, we find out that Wang Yusang integrated various unreal images into real scenes taking advantage of characteristics of the garden architecture, and by way of doing so he has created scenes with a drama-stage effect. Garden doors and windows appear in almost all Wang’s Suzhou garden paintings, but what are presented in the doors and windows are often unreal images from either Chinese ancient paintings or modern photographs. As a matter of fact, the doors and windows serve not only as paintings within paintings enriching the artworks, but also as objects which both connect and separate the real and the virtual. Although the garden walls, doors and windows are depicted and even on walls there cast shadows of garden windows with carved patterns, we are still not sure about what are depicted in the paintings, are the scenes indoor or outdoor? What Wang Yusang presents in his artworks is a pure art space beyond nature, and the Suzhou gardens only serve as an introduction for him to create the conceptual space or paintings. He has created pictures of the mind with his wisdom.
Wang Yusang uses oil painting materials and language in creating his artworks. Though such western painting techniques as focus perspective, light and shade, texture are applied in creating these paintings, the artworks are full of strong Chinese traditional art flavor. Without a doubt, Wang Yusang not only has a strong fascination with the Chinese traditional art, but also does he hold a position of identification with the concepts of the world contemporary art. In a moderate rebellious manner, Wang Yusang has created an art style that is both classical and novel, and his exploration is beneficial for the development and innovation of Chinese art.
Wang Duanting, a well-known art critic; director and research fellow of Foreign Fine Arts Research Section of Institute of Fine Arts Research, Chinese National Academy of Arts; professor and doctoral supervisor with Department of Fine Arts of Graduate School of Chinese National Academy of Arts; professor specially appointed by Schuan Fine Arts Institute; part-time professor at School of Arts of Nanjing University; member of Western Returned Scholars Association; rotating president of the Ninth Annual Meeting of Chinese Art Critics.
The Temptation to Express Myself
By Wang Yusang (Beijing, April 2021)
In my childhood, I quite often joined a small group of boys sitting around a big table at one boy’s home, with a blank paper as large as possible spread out before each of us, holding a pencil, each boy then kicked off drawing his imaginary scene of a war between two armies, even with gunshots, sound of cannons and shoutings from fighting soldiers voiced by each boy while drawing on papers. What a childish drawing game with totally unconstrained and free imagination!
During my teenage years, I had a chance to be taught by some professional artists in a class specially trained for creating artworks for a provincial adolescent art exhibition, from which I came to some understanding of painting techniques, art standards and stylized patterns. And accordingly, I learned to compose paintings more guided by some established art rules, with contents showing my political awareness was raised as well.
After my middle age, having seen a flood of contemporary artworks of various genres and many original paintings with strong individual styles by both ancient, modern, Chinese and western masters, I started to see the art principles in which I had firmly believed shaking, and that many no-go areas of art styles and ideas for me were no more no-go areas. It seemed my desire for free thinking was little by little brought back to life.
While seeing many artworks by other artists, thinking of art ideas and exploring my art as I moved forward, I felt more of a desire to create new paintings to express my new thoughts. I knew I was tempted to express myself using new art concept and more novel layout of images in my paintings. As a result, in recent years, I went to Suzhou to live for some time each year only to see the ancient gardens there. And based on my experiences of the Suzhou ancient gardens, I have created the series of garden paintings as presented in this album.
As I have done the paintings, just let me say something about my thoughts in creating these artworks.
Concepts – I love the traditional classical art, but I would not wish to duplicate the traditional classical art in my paintings, and nor am I for the position of anti-tradition and anti-art. Further, I am confident about the universality, continuity, eternality and sturdiness of the aesthetic consciousness of mankind. But how to both embrace and be different from the traditional classical art? How to express contemporary consciousness and emotions? How to explore beyond the Formalist Art concepts? And how to create new aesthetic visual experiences? I was inspired by the Art of Conceptualism with its artists, in crafting their artworks, often seeking the methods of duplicating, diverting, splicing and restructuring ready-made images. It is worth exploring the concept of resetting the real relations among objects in creating artworks, and it would be possible to enrich the spirit and forms of artworks by way of putting in the same thinking box the concepts of Formalism and Conceptualism. Also, some Chinese ancient classical paintings, which depict multiple spaces, have broadened my mind as well, for example, Chess Players in Front of Multiple Painted Screens by Zhou Wenju in the Five Dynasties. Following the ideas of rethinking and restructuring, I thought it would be possible for me to present, in my paintings, the images reorganized in a novel and unique way to express my thoughts on some concepts which drew my attention, and to offer new aesthetic visual experiences and perspective of thinking for viewers.
Layout of Images – Composition, colors, light and shade, texture, brush strokes and so on play indispensable roles in making up paintings. However, the efforts by numerous artists over a long time have almost been exhausted to explore new art language words or phrases. If I depart the familiar pattern of single picture and single genre for an integration of multi-picture and multi-genre, I may have opportunities to create new art language sentence patterns or novel layouts of images. I have tried to find from the rich Chinese ancient classical paintings the useful images, layouts, contents and elements which, in terms of spirit and forms, would well interface, both logically and spatially, with the scenes and objects I picked from the real world. And in doing so, I have also attempted to avoid presentations of the images laid out in my paintings in an unnatural and uncomfortable way, and without much imagination and interest. Undoubtedly, I need to analyze, select and even change ready-made images in order to fit them well into the layouts of all images in my paintings. One my important thinking is how to create novel layouts of images which would well match ancient images with modern images, merge scenes across time and space, and link up the virtual and the real to produce original visions against the ordinary, so that viewers may both have eye-pleasing aesthetic experiences and be triggered for imagination and thinking.
Contrast, Correlation and Ballance – Technically speaking, on one side, I have paid much attention to putting into contrast the two opposite, e.g. Chinese ink and brush paintings and western oil paintings, black and white and colors, free style and true-life style, ancient styles and modern features, etc. On the other side, I have attempted to make as smooth and natural as possible the diverting, duplicating, splicing and restructuring of ready-made images, with all the images blended into one picture to show both internal logical connections and external smooth interfaces between them. It requires for different images well adapted and balanced to each other to produce pictures of contrast and correlation.
I remember a great philosopher said something like this: The desire to be acknowledged drives progress. As far as I am concerned, given that the temptation to express myself is still active, and that I also enjoy being tempted, so just let me keep moving ahead.
个展:2021 “温和的反叛 —— 王育桑之江南”，北京锦都艺术中心，北京，中国
Wang Yusang, born in Beijing, China and grew up in southern China; went to college in northern China, and worked in northern China as well after graduation; currently lives and works in Beijing.
2021 The Moderate Rebellion — Wang Yusang’s Southern China, Beijing Jindu Art Centre, China
Main Group Exhibitions:
2019 Art WeMe Contemporary Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2018 Singapore Contemporary Art Show, Singapore
2018 Art WeMe Contemporary Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2017 Art Expo Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2017 Art WeMe Contemporary Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
1999 MBA, Business School, Strathclyde University, UK
1989 Certificate of Completion, Advanced Research & Study Program on Chinese Traditional Painting (one year program), Beijing Fine Art Academy, China
1983 Bachelor of Arts, Air Force Engineering College, China