Yang Jiechang, Missed My God, Oh Diu, 2002. 2 channel video diptych, Size varies.
For his third exhibition with SETAREH, Yang Jiechang will present works in video and ink which incorporate the monochromatic language he has explored since his 1989 international debut in the legendary exhibition Magiciens de la Terre at the Centre Pompidou. This will be the first presentation of the artist's work in Berlin in nearly a decade.
Yang Jiechang grew up during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) and the beginning of his artistic career coincided with China’s reform and opening up in the late 1970s and 1980s. His first appearance in Europe and the trigger for his emigration was his participation in the seminal exhibition Magiciens de la terre in the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris in 1989. There he exhibited for the first time the series Hundred Layers of Ink, on which he worked for a decade and which made his renown.
Working Shot of Yang Jiechang
For a decade between 1989 and 1999, Yang Jiechang worked on the series Hundred Layers of Ink, to which this painting belongs. It is the result of focused repetition: Yang applied ink to the same piece of paper, day after day, until the rectangle at its center was completely saturated. As the paper reaches saturation, the ink takes on a shimmery, luminescent quality, and the paper itself shifts from a two-dimensional surface to a three-dimensional object, merging figure and ground, coming close to sculpture. Though these are the same materials used by literati to make traditional paintings, Yang has reinvented them here, removing entirely the artist’s gesture as an index of meaning.
Yang is known for his proficiency in traditional Chinese media, such as ink painting, meticulous colour painting and calligraphy. Nevertheless, he uses a large variety of media, such as installation, sculpture, video, and ceramic. Yang Jiechang's oeuvre explores the themes of spirituality and romanticism. He views his art as "participation" - a form of activism - with the goal to express compassion and revolt against any form of injustice.
About the Exhibition
Dates: 4 March–15 April, 2023
Address: Schöneberger Ufer 71, Berlin, Germany
Courtesy of SETAREH.