Of all contemporary Chinese visual artists, Yang Fudong is the most famous at the moment. His work was included on a large scale in the main exhibition of the last Biennial in Venice. He was also represented at the one before that and there have not been many major exhibitions of contemporary international art recently for which he has not been selected.
His work is however extremely cinematographic and is also made as film. With actors, on 35mm and in black & white. It is beautifully shot, intriguing symbolic work. It is pregnant with cinematographic references from the Shanghai cinema of the 1920s and 1930s to the French nouvelle vague. It is even more full of elements and phenomena from Chinese society, from the present economic hysteria to the philosophical stories of ancient dynasties. His aesthetic idiom is emphatically that of a film maker, yet he is almost exclusively presented within the context of the visual arts and hardly ever at film festivals, for instance. And basically that is strange.
In Venice, he also showed this five part series Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest. Each part has a length between half an hour and an hour and a large box was built for each part, white on the outside and black on the inside to function as as many cinemas. Impressive, but it made one more curious to see the series for once as film in a real cinema. (GjZ)
- Yang Fudong
- Country of production
- Festival Edition
- IFFR 2008
- ShanghART Gallery