Yun-Fei Ji, born in 1963 in Beijing (CN), lives and works in Ohio (US).
Yun-Fei Ji paints, according to traditional Eastern art-making practice, on handmade rice paper with translucent ink or paint based on natural pigments. His peculiar draughtsmanship draws on centuries old techniques, including calligraphy. His subjects evoke traditional Chinese landscape painting: figures and scenes recall tales and epics from Chinese folklore and history. His work echoes the oeuvre of the ancient Dynasty Masters, whose paintings combined compositional and technical brilliance with expression of sorrow and melancholy, conveying an underlying political message. Yun-Fei Ji still depicts the internal difficulties of the Chinese culture, e.g. building a dam and the risks and human sorrow involved, or the failure of the communist utopia. Those social subjects give cause for the illustration of personal and symbolical fantasy, and more global, existential human tragedy and beauty. The artist borrows past events to comment on present problematic developments. Yun-Fei Ji’s works are particularly layered as they are hybrid compositions of historical narratives and autobiographical notes.
Yun-Fei Ji took part in the Whitney Biennial in New York in 2001. The Old One Hundred Names at Zeno X Gallery in 2003 was Yun-Fei Ji’s first European exhibition and was successfully adopted by the Pratt Institute in New York. The solo exhibition The Empty City opened at the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis and travelled further to The Rose Art Museum of Brandeis University in Waltham and the Richard E. Peeler Art Center in Greencastle.
Other solo exhibitions dedicated to his work were organised by The Hilliard University Art Museum in Lafayette, the Honolulu Art Museum, Cleveland Museum of Art, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, UMCA in Amherst, Krannert Art Museum in Champaign, Illinois and Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, amongst others.
His work has been featured in group exhibitions at The Drawing Center in New York, British Museum in London, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Vancouver Art Gallery, S.M.A.K. in Ghent, Menshikov Palace at the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersbur, Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, FRAC de Picardie in Amiens and MoMA in New York, amongst many others.
Yun-Fei Ji joined the gallery in 2002.