Sunday, November 12, 2006

Foreplay

Yang Zhenzhong’s exhibit “Foreplay” at H-Space is a playful and fun twist on contemporary existence. Yang’s work exudes energy and vitality in his lighthearted interpretations of life that surrounds us all. Yang describes his work is as multi-dimensional: “underneath each picture there is always another picture…underneath each picture is always another medium.” Yang’s exhibition at H-Space coincides with the 2006 Shanghai Biennial. He has also exhibited at several other biennials.
I really enjoyed ShanghArt’s presentation of Yang’s works. H-Space is a great venue for contemporary art. The gallery is spacious and peaceful- a space conducive to reflecting of the meaning of the works. The lighting was appropriate and the white walls contrasted the vivid colors of the works.
I really enjoyed Yang’s photos because he takes mundane things in life and adds an unlikely dimension. Yang seeks to, “challenge the normative motions and fixed formats of social behavior…He is pre-occupied with the tendency to invert the order of things…his approach is metaphysical rather than narrative” (www.shanghart.com).Yang’s vivid imagery definitely makes a lasting impression on the viewers. His work exhibits severe contrasts in both subject and color, adding to the visual intensity of the photos.
I noticed that the introduction on the wall of the gallery commented that Yang’s works, “are intelligent comments on the design of contemporary society.” Yang believes that society is obsessed with perception and identity. On his website, I looked at several of his other works and really liked the “Light and Easy” exhibition from 2002, and also the more recent exhibition showing chickens and chicks with subtitles having to do with the family. With “Light and Easy” it is especially easy to see how the artist “inverts” the meaning of the picture by literally turning the buildings upside down. In addition, with “Foreplay” it is interesting how Yang’s photographs single plain images, like a robot on whitespace, yet the image has a deeper meaning than just that of the robot. ShanghArt describes this combination as, “…part fiction and part reality that tangles both the euphoric enthusiasm and deep anxiety of day to day experience” (http://www.shanghart.com/).
Yang Zhenshong’s exhibit was entertaining and engaging. I really enjoyed seeing “Foreplay” and also his other exhibitions online. I highly recommend visiting his exhibition at ShanghArt, which runs until November 30.

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