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Child: Ouyang Chun Solo Exhibition


An oil painting by late artist Chen Yifei features a woman playing bamboo flute.

Why is it a ‘Child’?

According to Ouyang Chun, he has experienced the life of a camel and lion, and has finally returned to being a child. Or to put it more precisely- he has returned to pristine nature, like a child, and has distanced himself from all social impacts and nasty desires. This is probably a simple form of desire, but in the current era and in his stage of life, it is worth conversing about.

Here Ouyang Chun describes the reason for choosing the exhibition title- “I have experienced both affluence and poverty, both of which can be torture for an artist. To make art is like being in exile. When I am at a loss sometimes I think to myself, ‘lion, camel and child.’ If I look at an artist’s life in fragments, I eventually piece together a ‘child’.”

Feng Boyi comments on Ouyang Chun’s paintings, “The artist’s contradictory imagination subvert the integrity of the paintings in the past to imply a rebellious theme. I reckon this is a deliberate act portrayed through his graffiti to process a complex mix of information through a simplified, interspersed and superimposed arrangement compiled amongst a beautiful mix of forces. Ouyang Chun’s fragmented structures are a combination of reality and fictional reconstructions of visual effects to portray an intuitive and unique perspective integrated to create a mutual inquiry and dialogue between the artist and viewer”.

In Ouyang Chun’s written self introduction, he goes into detail how he has spent two thirds of his life working towards his artistic career. Born in Beijing in 1974, he moved to Xi’an during his youth (due to the turbulent life story of his parent’s and grandparent’s) and graduated from the Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts Department of Education in 1995, which at the time was not as of yet a fully developed discipline. Nonetheless, several years after the ‘retreat’, Ouyang Chun underwent a transformation. It is difficult to describe Ouyang’s unusual case, how for the most part being self-educated he can produce such consistent aesthetic manifestations that coincide with Western anti-academic contemporary art.

In 2000 Ouyang Chun moved back to Beijing and took his work with him. The transformation of his surrounding environment once again created confusion in his life. The ease of brush strokes and strong use of colors in combination with a mature and orderly composition complete with graphic expressions, as portrayed in Seeds, marked the establishment of Ouyang Chun as an artist. Similar techniques can be identified in his work, Whale. Like anyone born in the 1970’s, the memory of watching outdoor movies in the household courtyard as a child has been a huge source of inspiration for Ouyang Chun. In years 1999 and 2000 Ouyang created two separate pieces titled Open-air Cinema. The paintings depict children playing noisily in the playground, throwing bottles in the air, images of fruits and vegetables, using a brush made of arrows through the love, childhood friends casually humming songs, and even smashing watermelons in the front rows of the theatre. All of his depictions combined portray the artist’s love for simple and pure joy.

Glaring Clown, Color Painter No. 2, The Building and Naughty Boy represent the splash of color series created by Ouyang Chun in 2010. Despite the physical power required in the creative procedure of splashing color pigments on canvas, Ouyang Chun fully enjoyed the thrill he gained during the process. Although not immediately obvious to the eye of the viewer, Ouyang’s brushstrokes and use of pigment coloring is thoroughly thought-out beforehand. It is the feeling of the artist’s passion and sense of sober calmness that can eventually be identified through his work.

About Ouyang Chun

Ouyang Chun was born in Beijing in 1974 and graduated from Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts Department of Education. He currently lives in Beijing.

Ouyang’s solo exhibitions include: 2012 Jakarta, Indonesia’s Deyao Museum of Art titled Raving in 2012; in 2010 and 2011 respectively Belvedere-Upper Belvedere & Augarten Contemporary exhibition in Vienna, Austria, and Berlin’s me COLLECTORS ROOM exhibition of Painting the King; in 2008 at the artist ISSUE PROJECTS Tale of Whaling, and Infinity Column at Star Gallery; 2006 and 2007 held Luminescence on two separate occasions at Star Gallery; and in 2004 at Dawn, Yanhuang Art Museum titled We armed ourselves with the Flames of Endurance and Arrived in the City of Glory at Dawn. Major group exhibitions include Today Art Museum’s Spin: The First Decade of the New Century held in 2012; The Official Opening of Minsheng Art Museum - Thirty Years of Chinese Contemporary Art at Shanghai’s Minsheng Contemporary Art Museum in 2010; Looking for Me in Shanghai’s Minsheng Contemporary Art Museum in 2008; The Self-made Generation at Shanghai’s Zenda Museum; Next Station, Cartoon? in 2005; and Naughty Kids at Shenzhen’s He Xiangning Art Museum in 2004.

Duration: September 15—29, 2012

Venue: Building No.3, Today Art Museum, Pingod community, No.32 Baiziwan Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing

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