“As the Story Goes”
Finalists Exhibition of YISHU 8 PRIZE· CHINA 2017
Artists：Cao Yu, Hu Yinping, Zhang Ruyi
Opening：April 8th 2017 (Saturday) 18:30 – 20:30
Duration：April 8th - May 10th, 2017
Since its establishment in 2012, YISHU 8 PRIZE • CHINA has got great support from personages and gained recognition from the art community. When Guerlain joined with YISHU 8 PRIZE • CHINA 2017 to promote inheritance and innovation, a new partnership embarks on a new journey to explore art. YISHU 8, a non-profit art center, was founded on the site of former Sino-French University in 2009. Over the years it has become a bridge connecting the two civilizations by carrying on democracy, freedom, equality and fraternity, the spirit of the university’s tenets. YISHU 8 PRIZE • CHINA was started in 2011 as a non-profit residence project for Sino-French culture and art. It aims to support both Chinese and French artists by offering a platform for free creation and exhibition, thereby promoting exchanges in art between the two countries.
Over 189 years, Guerlain, originally exclusive to the French royals, has developed into an exquisite, ingenious, classical wonder with concerted effort its pioneering and innovative generations have made. In its pursuit of beauty, Guerlain has created one after another miracles in perfume, skin care and make-up. As a brand always in the course of constant exploration, innovation and perfection, it is widely acclaimed as a classical legend in cosmetics, distinguished for craftsmanship and cultured aesthetics. To Guerlain and YISHU 8, this event marks an important step in the promotion of the traditional spirit, a journey in art, and more importantly, valuable support to Sino-French culture and art.
Normally there does not have to be a specific theme to run through a finalists exhibition like YISHU 8 PRIZE • CHINA, but I decided to give it a title “As the Story Goes” after a close analysis of the three finalists’ works and the reality of art in our age and discussion with these artists. The works chosen for this exhibition are therefore centered on this topic which is to cover three parts: “The Story”, “Going” and “As the Story Goes”.
The Story: To me, it is another way of referring to contemporary art. Literally, it is context-based, interactive, changing and also integrated. The three finalists all build with their remarkable skills some contexts that can cover their works as a component or a link. In other words, these works do not make a whole unless what is invisible about them is included.
Going: It refers to the way artists choose to tell their stories and transform their experience into art. Their transformation can be a kind of creation in that artists, in this case narrators, have to digest and convert what they see, hear and feel into “new stories” and share them with others.
As the Story Goes: It implies that what a work of art talks about also involves the viewers. With different target viewers, the three artists or expect to evoke more emotional response, or have involved the viewers in their art as active agent, or just leave their works to the congenial to appreciate, but they are all well aware that without involvement on the part of the viewers, there is little they could achieve.
The finalists at this exhibition are all active on the contemporary art scene with distinctive “stories” and ways of “story-telling”.
Cao Yu, focuses on the established (academically-based) concepts and thinking. In other words, to view what is common in real life from a new perspective or transform ready approaches in terms of experience so as to highlight the quotidian aspect of the artwork (more defamiliarization to some extent).
As an artist, Hu Yinping is restless. We may be justified in saying she was “making troubles” while creating an art work, putting both “the other” and “herself” in “trouble”. From these “troubles” new context is generated to impact on our mind to evoke reflection.
When juxtaposed, Zhang Ruyi’s works at the exhibition give a series of dumb shows. In the milieu she made, these otherwise ordinary readymade materials speak of some strong emotion indistinctly. This feeling is pent-up, restive, and closed, like the moment before explosion that comes to a sudden stop. These works give rational vent to her rational reflection about the irrational modern world.
YISHU 8 Prize since its foundation in 2012, has been committed to supporting and encouraging contemporary young artists in the form of exhibition, prize, residence program and lectures. Stressing the academic quality of the award, the exhibition organized a judging panel of experts, consisting artists, curators, critics, media persons, art patrons and museum directors. We sincerely hope that YISHU 8 PRIZE • CHINA will be a continued, sustained success and engage more young artists.
Curator and critic