Marian Goodman Gallery London is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Yang Fudong, the first with the artist in the London gallery. This exhibition marks the international premiere of his epic project 'Dawn Breaking'. This is Yang Fudong's first London exhibition since 2011.
Presented in the ground floor gallery space 'Dawn Breaking' is the opening chapter of Yang Fudong's larger Museum Film Project, originally conceived whilst working on his solo exhibition in Castello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea in 2005. Filmed live in Shanghai in the Long Museum, 'Dawn Breaking' represents an interpretation of life lived during the Song Dynasty, which was prominent for achievements in art, culture and science. For several weeks, the artist led the crew of actors and production team to carry out epic durational performances across two main filming locations within the museum, inviting the general public to view and spontaneously participate in the filming process. The experience creates a simultaneity of art-making and art-viewing, subverting the traditional expectations of the exhibition experience. For the Marian Goodman Gallery exhibition, the weeks long filming process is edited into over 30 'diaries', shown across over 30 monitors, flat screens and as projections flowing through the exhibition, creating an immersive video installation.
Since the late 1990s, Yang Fudong has developed a body of work of films, video installations and photographs. Among his most acclaimed works are An Estranged Paradise (1997-2002) his first film, the series of five black-and-white 35 mm films 'Seven Intellectuals in Bamboo Forest' (2003-2007) and The Fifth Night, an eight-channel film installation. Yang Fudong favours multi-screen projections which allow him to create works that surround the viewer, who in turn becomes like a second film director. Yang's visual language has always been enveloped in a dream-like mystery. His characters, often silent and disembodied, usually move according to choreographed gestures and manage to transport the viewer into an aesthetically perfect environment. His work deliberately plays, suspends and confuses time.
Yang Fudong was born in Beijing in 1971. Considered one of China's most important contemporary artists, Yang Fudong studied painting at the Academy of Fine Art in Hangzhou. He now lives and works in Shanghai. His work has been exhibited in China in the most important avant-garde exhibitions in the late 1990s and has exhibited widely internationally, including solo presentations in major institutions such as Parasol Unit, London (2011); National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (2010); Asia Society, New York (2009); Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2005); Castello di Rivoli, Torino (2005); Renaissance Society, Chicago (2004). The artist has also participated in prestigious international art events including: Sharjah Biennial, UAE (2013); Venice Biennale, Italy (2003 and 2007); The Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Australia (2006); Documenta XI, Germany (2002). In 2013, Kunsthalle Zurich and Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive co-organized his retrospective exhibition, Estranged Paradise. Filmscapes originated at ACMI, Melbourne (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) in 2015 and traveled to Auckland Art Gallery in 2016. In 2017, Espace Louis Vuitton, Tokyo, Japan exhibited The Coloured Sky: New Women II. The Long Museum West Bund, Shanghai, hosted Yang Fudong's major film experience Dawn Breaking, A Museum Film Project, in 2018.
Press release courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery.
Entering Marian Goodman Gallery's London space to view Yang Fudong's solo exhibition, I was stopped short by a wire mesh fence erected just beyond the front desk, barring the way to the exhibition. Somewhat discombobulated, I asked the receptionist, 'Is the show open?' It was; visitors were to walk through a gate set in the fence, and heavy black...