Zhou Yan Contemporary Chinese Art Archive 周彦当代中国艺术档案



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Oil Painting


This picture is of an oil painting by Yang Ke-Qin, an artist hailing from Xinjiang, China. There is no title known for this oil painting. The painting depicts a topless woman lying down supposedly sleeping. It looks to be that even in her sleep, she is troubled. There is an interestingly sharp contrast between her relaxed body and tense facial expression. As she rests, she frowns. Moreover, the shape of her body is indistinct and the boundaries between her features are not confidently distinguished. Nonetheless, you can make her figure out from the darkness around her. Her use of orange, pink, and red distinguishes the woman's body from the creeping darkness in the background. It looks as if the darkness wants to overtake and possess the woman's body. Yang emphasizes light and softness in the woman's figure as she seems to be struggling with a restless, but determined sleep. The artist has talked about the use of darkness in her paintings, "The figures, in the darkness, seem to be darker than the darkness, being simple, pure, and quiet. It is the awakening night, a touchable gigantic substance" (https://digital.kenyon.edu/zhoudocs/370/). She has also talked of the woman question as it is expressed in her art, "The question 'What is art?' is, for me, as complicated as the question 'What is woman?'"(Nicole Wang '26).



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