The first monograph devoted to this celebrated Chinese artist, published after the success of his first exhibition in an Italian museum, last year at Rivoli castle.
Edited by Marcella Beccaria, the volume presents two new video installations by Yang Fudong entitled The Revival of the Snake, 2005 and Jia er de sheng kou (Jiaer’s Livestock), 2002-2005.
The installation The Revival of the Snake tells the story of a runaway soldier through a double projection and a series of plasma screens, concentrating on the last days of a soldier who chooses a destiny different to that which had been imposed on him. In Jiaers Livestock the parallel stories of two men identifies their different relations with the world. In both works the dominant role is given to the landscape, an element that links the contemporary urgencies described by Yang Fudong to the iconography of the ancient traditional of Chinese painting. As in many of his works the ambiguity of meaning is intentional and shows his opening towards the possibility of reality and at the same time the difficulty of relation to a society shot through by radical changes, inside which each individual is in search of a role and an identity.
Apart from An alienated paradise, the volume includes a selection of the principal works the artist has created on film, presenting Liu lan, a story which brings the poetry of an ancient painting to the big screen and Hou fang – hei, tian liang le (Backyard – Hey, Sun is Rising!), a work which presents the paramilitary actions of a group of men, united by an objective the sense of which remains unknown to them. The choice of films includes, moreover, the first two parts of the series Zhu lin qi xian (Seven Intellectuals in Bamboo Forest). Part of the five-part work the artist is currently working on, the two films tell of the anxieties of a group of young men and women, making use of the vicissitudes of seven poets and artists who lived in ancient China in order to speak of the contemporary urgency for liberty and independence.
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