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Yang Fudong: Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest and Other Stories
Solo Exhibition National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece
Date: 05.11, 2010 - 09.05, 2010

Artists: YANG Fudong 杨福东

Curated by: Anna Kafetsi

The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, organizes the first major exhibition in Greece of the internationally acclaimed Chinese artist Yang Fudong titled Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest and Other Stories. The exhibition, which will be inaugurated on May 11th and last until September 5th, will include the complete five-part epic cinematic cycle Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest (2003-2007), the recent 6 channel video installation East of Que Village (2007), the monumental ten-channel video installation Close to the Sea (2004), as well as the earlier film Liu Lan (2003).

Yang Fudong was born in Beijing in 1971 and after studying painting at the Academy of Arts in Hangzhou (1991-1995), moved to Shanghai. He is considered as one of the most important Chinese artists with participations in some of the most prominent international exhibitions like Documenta 11 in Kassel and the first Guangzhou Triennial in 2002, the 50th and 52nd Venice Biennale in 2003 and 2007, the Taipei Biennale in 2004. He has also exhibited in major institutions such as Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna, the Stedelijk museum in Amsterdam, the Parasol Unit in London, MuHKA in Antwerp, Zengdai museum in Shanghai, Asia Society in New York and Hara museum of Contemporary art in Tokyo. He is represented by Galerie Marian Goodman Paris/ New York and Shanghart Gallery, Shanghai.

Yang Fudong creates films, videos and photographs full of psychological tension and melancholy that touch upon subjects related to the rapid transformation of Chinese society in the recent years through stories of love and individual struggle. His works always involve a vague narrative and his unforgettable images, sometimes artfully photographed in 35mm cinematographic film, allude to Chinese cinema of the 30s - 40s as well as to French Nouvelle Vague. In his elaborately positioned multi-screen video installations that make it impossible for the viewer to watch all strands of the same story that unfold simultaneously, the artist allows for a unique and personal experience of every work. In his major work, the cycle of Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest, Fudong draws inspiration from the 3rd century AD Chinese tale of the seven sages in the bamboo grove, according to which, seven wise men, tired from the intrigues of the imperial court, withdraw to a private space in order to think and create. Similarly, Fudong’s seven young intellectuals, symbols of a new ambiguous social class, are depicted to wander, nonchalantly and dreamy, within a marginal space of their own actions and personal pursuits, in a work that summarizes the clash of cultural values in contemporary China, where the old way of living still persists alongside the immense economic, technological and infrastructural advances this country has seen in the last few decades.
decades.


(The exhibition will include the complete five-part epic cinematic cycle Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest (2003-2007), the recent 6 channel video installation East of Que Village (2007), the monumental ten-channel video installation Close to the Sea (2004), as well as the earlier film Liu Lan (2003). Yang Fudong creates films, videos and photographs full of psychological tension and melancholy that touch upon subjects related to the rapid transformation of Chinese society in the recent years through stories of love and individual struggle. His works always involve a vague narrative and his unforgettable images, sometimes artfully photographed in 35mm cinematographic film, allude to Chinese cinema of the 30s - 40s as well as to French Nouvelle Vague. In his elaborately positioned multi-screen video installations that make it impossible for the viewer to watch all strands of the same story that unfold simultaneously, the artist allows for a unique and personal experience of every work. In his major work, the cycle of Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest, Fudong draws inspiration from the 3rd century Chinese tale of the seven sages in the bamboo grove, according to which, seven wise men, tired from the intrigues of the imperial court, withdraw to a private space in order to think and create. Similarly, Fudong’s seven young intellectuals, symbols of a new ambiguous social class, are depicted to wander, nonchalantly and dreamy, within a marginal space of their own actions and personal pursuits, in a work that summarizes the clash of cultural values in contemporary China, where the old way of living still persists alongside the immense economic, technological and infrastructural advances this country has seen in the last few decades.)


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