March 28, 2016 - Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) - Wang Yin: The Gift
March 28, 2016

Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA)

Wang Yin, Zhong Xiao Dong Lu, 2014. Oil on canvas, 210 x 130 cm.

Wang Yin
The Gift
March 29–May 27, 2016

Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA)
798 Art District
No. 4 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District
100015 Beijing
China
Hours: Monday–Sunday 10am–7pm

T +86 10 5780 0200

ucca.org.cn
Artsy / Facebook

Wang Yin
The Gift
March 29–May 27, 2016

Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA)
798 Art District
No. 4 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District
100015 Beijing
China
Hours: Monday–Sunday 10am–7pm

T +86 10 5780 0200

ucca.org.cn
Artsy / Facebook

From March 29 to May 27, 2016, the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) presents Wang Yin: The Gift, a survey including over 40 works realized during the last several years of the artist’s career. For Wang Yin, the idea of the “gift” is an allegory of the introduction of “oil painting” from the West to China, a process that has spanned nearly a century, and coincides directly with the period during which China has arrived at its own forms of modernity and postmodernity. The title The Gift comes from French sociologist Marcel Mauss’s 1925 treatise on giving and reciprocity, themes which Wang Yin’s paintings address mainly through an iconography that draws equally on history, autobiography, and social investigation. The exhibition is presented within a new installation framework designed by architect Tian Jun, in which the Long Gallery, Nave, and Central Gallery are joined to structure the viewer’s procession through a “journey,” moving unidirectionally through sequences of paintings that evoke the stages of departure, sojourn, and return. Through these individual works and the spatial experience of them, Wang Yin offers highly personalized accounts of modern artistic and cultural history, situating his own images and even the physical materiality which undergirds them in the long arc of China’s twentieth and twenty-first century.

The theme of “departure,” while easily gleaned from the subjects of his paintings, also corresponds to Wang Yin’s personal experience and encounter with the larger discourse of art history. In his youth he was greatly influenced by his father, Wang Qingping (1938-present), a painter trained, like nearly all painters of his generation, in the technique and effect of Soviet Socialist Realism. In the second phase of his journey, “sojourn,” Wang Yin uses different geographical landscapes to create a series of works that explore the feeling of roaming through the nation and the world. By re-appropriating and re-imagining images, Wang Yin creates a series in which China’s landscapes host other iconic images, becoming an elemental criticism of modern China and modern art history. The notion of the dramatic sets the tone for the final phase of this journey, “return.” Wang Yin studied at the Central Academy of Drama, where he was exposed to a milieu of radical theory and plays, even writing a thesis on Polish dramatist Jerzy Grotowski’s “poor theater.” In line with this notion of reducing theater to the immediacy of interaction between performer and viewer, Wang Yin tries to explore the oil painting’s purest modes of expression amidst “an age of machine copying.” These works depict characters engaged in everyday actions—repairing shoes, picking up trash, riding bicycles, walking, talking. Their place within the strictures of the painting gives these figures and their actions a feeling of ritual, as if the flow of time slows down and stops in such mundane moments. Stripped of superfluous temporal context, they hint at the untouchable eternity beneath.

Wang Yin: The Gift is co-curated by Colin Chinnery and UCCA Director Philip Tinari with assistant curator Lotus Zhang. The exhibition received support and was designed by the architect Tian Jun.  

Wang Yin: The Gift is accompanied by a bilingual catalogue published by New Star Press. Featuring over 40 plates alongside essays provided by Philip Tinari, Colin Chinnery, and Zhao Tingyang the catalogue elaborates the diverse perspectives present in Wang Yin’s work, details the evolution of his practice, and provides background on specific paintings. Wang Yin: The Gift is produced with support from New Century Art Foundation and available at UCCASTORE.

Wang Yin (b. 1964, Jinan) is an artist living and working in Beijing. He graduated from the Central Academy of Drama in 1988. Wang Yin has exhibited widely in China and abroad, including The System of Objects (Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, 2015); Hans van Dijk: 5000 Names (UCCA, Beijing, 2014); Super-Organism, CAFAM Biennale 2011 (CAFA Art Museum, Beijing); and The 3rd Guangzhou Triennial (Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, 2008).

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The Gift
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