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



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Exhibition Event Title


Date of Exhibition Event

October 11,1995-October 15,1995

Location of Exhibition Event

Chinese Fine Art Center (Beijing, China)


Oil Painting


This series of paintings was first exhibited in the artist's exhibition "A Story of Two and a Half Weeks" in 1995. Each painting is monochrome, darkly lit, and depicts naked male figures. The figures have no distinct facial features, and their proportions seem incongruent with a typical human body. They are depicted sitting down, lying flat, or hunched over as if in surrender. A few of the subjects have their arms over their heads, which could be pointing to dramatic dance, exhaustion, or even prayer. The body language and expressions of the figures show a variety of emotions from bashful to fervent or bold. Some paintings include multiple male figures overlaid on top of each other. Often, the transparency of the subjects vary among each painting, some are starkly visible, some seem to represent the incorporeal, while others appear to be blending into the darkness that surrounds them. In this series, Yang applies special emphasis male genitalia and the state of sexual arousal. She uses only black, white, and grey colors and her signature jagged, expressive brush strokes to conjure up this image. However, the genitals are painted bluntly and lack detailing beyond general structure and simple shading. Her use of highlights is also very characteristic. In many of the paintings, there appears to be multiple light sources shining on the subject. In the invitation pamphlet for this exhibit, she said, "My recent work seems to step into a 'dark period', with the work covered in monochrome black. 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. Is this the temporary air, light, and food for me? It is never by accident that I live in the darkness" (https://digital.kenyon.edu/zhoudocs/370/) (Nicole Wang '26)



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