Chen Yufan
Biography
Work Gallery
BMCA Exhibition
Essays
Publications

Chen Yufan

1973    Born in Putian, Fujian Province

1997    Graduated from Collage of Fine Art, Fujian Normal University

2007    Graduated from the post-graduate class of Integrate Art Department, China Academy of Art

Now, living in Shanghai

Solo Exhibitions

2016    

Chen YufanGinkgo Space , Beijing , China

“White – Chen Yufan & Chen Yujun ”, Tang Contemporary Art, Hong Kong, China

 

2015     

chenyufan , Asia Art Center , Taipei

Beyond the White, Beneath the Black- Chen Yufan Solo ExhibitionArtemis , Shanghai 

 

2014     

Space graphy No.1---Exhibition of Chen Yufan and Chen Yujun, AYE Gallery, Beijing

 

2012   

“Mulan River——Unsettled”, Zhong gallery,Berlin

“The Folding Time – Chen Yufan’s New Works 2012”, AYE Gallery, Beijing

 

2011   

“Mulan River Project - Chen Yujun and Chen Yufan”, Boers-li gallery, Beijing

 

2010    

“INTO ONE”, AYE Gallery, Beijing 

 

Group Exhibition

2016 

The Decameron-BMCA , Documenting Art , Beijing , China

Plural, Ginkgo Space , Beijing , China

The Exhibition of Annual of Contemporary Art of China 2015 , Minsheng Art Museum,Beijing, China; Museum of Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Chongqing, China;       Jiangsu Modern Art Museum, Nankin, China

“Art | Basel HK 2016”, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong, China

Exotic strangerGalerie Paris-Beijing, Paris, France

Air: The 2th Ningbo International Contemporary Art Exhibition, Ningbo Museum of Art, Ningbo, China

Materialised SentimentsPearLam Galleriesshanghai

 

2015   

painting:20×20 , poly art museum , Beijing

stereognosis zone,RMCA,Guangzhou

Abstract 01 555543211231357 01, L-Art Gallery,Chengdu

the spectres in the double shadow, Alioth Art Center,shanghai

the boundaries of order , hive center for contemporary art, Beijing

Art | Basel HK 2015, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition CentreHong Kong

Handmade , mao space , shanghai

This is not painting – Exploring the boundary of painting , ASIA ART CENTER,Taipei

Mulan-River  Topsoil , Department for Culture and Education of the German Consulate General Shanghai,Shanghai

2014   

to east, ink not ink contemporary art museum,Qingdao

studyJEWELVARY ART&BOUTIQUEshanghai

PO[r]TIONL Club & L Avenue, Shanghai, shanghai

Labor&Time,Chambers Fine Art,beiijng

Soft Abstraction as Constellation,UCCASTORE,Beijing

<Chinese Abstract Art Case: Unit 2>, Y. Q. K. Art Space, Beijing

The world in the third world, The Art Center, Center of Academic Resources Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok

“拾•空”劳斯莱斯艺术之旅,兰心EME,杭州

Present-ing Recital Louder than Paint, Shanghai Gallery of Art, Shanghai

Art | Basel HK 2014, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition CentreHong Kong

The 8th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale 2014, OCAT, Shenzhen

Armory Show, AYE Gallery, USA

New abstraction chapter 1, Hadrien de Montferrand, Beijing

 

2013   

< Sample Houses>, Xi Gallery, Shanghai

拍卖双年展, “Why not!”,shanghai

Introduction: Tempo — Zhong Gallery,Beijing 

"Mulan River Project", Galerie Queen Anne, Leipzig, Germany

“Seven Sunsets, Waiting Dawns, All in One…”, Shanghai Gallery of Art, Shanghai

“PengVirtual——中国诚信画廊当代绘画展”,Zhejiang World Trade International ExhibitionHangzhou

Art | Basel HK 2013, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition CentreHong Kong

Fuck off 2, Groninger Museum, Holland

Not Same Not Different, Chinese Young Artist Experience Exhibitionthe museum of China Academy of Art, Hangzhou

“Contemporary Art in China, 1990-2012”, Zhong Gallery, Berlin

Art 13, London Art Fair, London

MIRROR AND SHADOW,National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta

Art Stage Singapore 2013

“On | Off: China’s Young Artists in Concept & Pactice, UCCA, Beijing

 

 2012  

“AGAINST SPACE——EIGHT KINDS OF ATTITUDE AND SITUATION

ABOUT PAINTING ,CHINA SPACE, Beijing

 COART Young Asian Art Scene”,Yun Nan

“Ctrl+N——Non-linear Practice, Gwangju Biennale Special Exhibition, Korea

“Painting Lesson Ⅱ—— Negative And Positive Style,gallery yang ,Beijing

“Merging•Distances in light   L-Art Gallery ,Chengdu

“Shedding---new art from china, ZHONG GALLERY ,Germany

“Adumbration exhibition,re-C art space, Chengdu

 

2011     

Distances In Light, L-Art Gallery, Chengdu

Nostalgia and Rendezvous, Qinghe Current Art Center, Nanjing

Art HK 11, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition CentreHong Kong

“Breaking Away an Abstract Art exhibition, Boers-li gallery, Beijing

“New Abstract Expression, white Stone Gallery, Shanghai

“How To Do”, HengLu Art Museum, HangZhou

 

2010   

“Post Traditions – The Magnified Slice”, Duolun Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai

“Defocus”, HangZhou Normal University of Art Museum, Hangzhou

“Visual Flux Easel Painting Research Exhibition 1---Space And Energy”, Qinghe Current Art Center, Nanjing

 

“WASABI: AN EXHIBITION OF YCA (YOUNG CONTEMPORARY ARTIST)”, LI – SPACE, Beijing

“Youth Upstairs – Young Critics Nomination Exhibition”, Times Art Museum, Beijing

“IN TO THE MOOD”, AA RT CENTER, Hong Kong

“Back and Restart – Experimental Contemporary Art Exhibition of Hang Zhou”, Hangzhou PEACE International convention and Exhibition Center, Hangzhou

“Reshaping History – China Art from 2000 to 2009”, ARARIO Gallery, Beijing

“Jungle – A Close-up Focus on Chinese Contemporary Art Trends”, Platform China, Beijing

“Change – Sino-Italy International Contemporary Art Exhibition”, Wan Yuan Silk Store, Hangzhou


 2009   

“Points and Crosses – Exhibition of Contemporary Painting in China”, 2010 Art Center, Shanghai

“Art of future”, Qinghe Current Art Center, Nanjing

“Contemporary Ink Painting”, Duolun Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai

“Going-by – Group Exhibition of Contemporary Artists”, SZ Art Center, Beijing

“Black Board”, ShangArt Gallery, Shanghai

“Blade – Reconstruct Leifeng Pagoda”, SZ Art Center, Beijing

“Look Deeper”, Platform China, Beijing

 

2008  

“Another Way – Experimental Art Exhibition of Hangzhou”, Square Gallery of Contemporary Art, Nanjing

“Seven Stones – Contemporary Art Exhibition”, Hangzhou

“Private Words”, Zizai Life Art Space, Shanghai

 

2007   

“Reincarnation”, Doris McCarthy Gallery, Toronto, Canada

“Chongqing Standpoint”, China Three Gorges Museum, Chongqing

“Intercalary Month”, Yuan Dian Gallery, Shanghai

“The Way of Painting”, Fang Xiang Art Center, Hangzhou

“Unpack”, the museum of China Academy of Art, Hangzhou

 

2005   

“Zhejiang Oil Painting”, Ningbo Museum of Art, Ningbo

“Sino-Japanese “Man and Nature” Exhibition”, the Art Museum of Tang Yun, Hangzhou

 

The Decameron - BMCA Documenting Art
Fluidity and Shelter
on Mulan River - Cuò
on Mulan River - Cuò
By Bao Dong

The Mulan River Project, named after the river that runs through their hometown, is the most important art project by brothers Chen Yufan and Chen Yujun. The project has been exhibited three times: in the 2011 solo exhibition Mulan River Project, the 2012 Mulan River–Unsettled, and in the 2013 exhibition ON|OFF China's Young Artists in Concept and Practice, where their work Mulan River | Home was the largest artwork featured in this group exhibition. This new exhibition is an extension of this artwork.

As the name implies, the Mulan River Project is rooted in a rustic awareness and local experience. The rustic awareness stands as distinguished from urban life. Under the urban-rural divide of today’s China, most Chinese people face and deal with these two systems of experience which stand as reference points for each other yet grow increasingly tense. Beyond the rural/urban relationship, this modern tension also contains a “native/foreign”, “domestic/international” or “China/West” relationship. This series of tensions is not merely a spatial relationship, but more so a temporal one which touches on multiple narrative dimensions of modern time such as modern and pre-modern, advanced and backward, new and old.

This is not limited to the Mulan River Project. The individual practices of the Chen brothers, and even all of Chinese contemporary art, should be considered against this backdrop. In the Mulan River Project, Chen Yufan and Chen Yujun have entered into a vast questioning mentality using concrete individual experience as an entry point. Every time they return from the big city—first Hangzhou, now Shanghai—to their old home at Yuantou Village, along the Mulan River in Fujian Province, these conceptual issues are a visceral experience. In fact, this all began with Lunar January, which they created while returning home for Spring Festival in 2007. In this work, their hometown and family became artistic material, and a reference for reexamining and reorienting contemporary art practice.

Contemporary art has long been seen in China as a foreign, Westernized, international affair, and is often unthinkingly tied to such banners of “advancement” as modernity, cities, technology and consumerism. Art under this notion can never gain generative capabilities within the totality of experience, and can only move in successive tides that leave emptiness in their wake. Art has never existed outside of the here and now. Though under the expo and biennale system of today's global art, we see increasing signs of the danger of dislocation, the weight of experience will always bring specific art practices back to the ground, particularly at the moment it needs to grow. The Chen brothers’ turn to the rustic and the local is remedying something that has always been there but always been overlooked, through which they can grasp a total structure of experience.

On this level, the region’s status as the ancestral home for many overseas Chinese allows them to avoid falling into the oversimplified “local/international” dichotomy, and given them a fluid field of vision from the very outset. It must be stressed here that this fluidity is not just the fluidity between China and the West that has been taking place since modern times. In fact, the cultural fluidity between China’s interior and periphery has never ceased. In the Mulan River Project, we see an inscription on a doorway arch which reads, “goodness flows from the Yin River.” The Chens of central Fujian believe that their ancestors hail from Yinchuan, Henan Province, and gradually made their way towards the southeastern coast in the chaos that followed the fall of the Eastern Han dynasty. Most of these clan migration stories cannot be verified, but the Chinese people ascribe to this idea of “fluidity.” Thus, the migrations into the South China Sea since the Ming and Qing dynasties, and the overseas business ventures since the reform and opening, are not so “modern” after all, just fluidity across a wider space. In this sense, the Mulan River refers to that local geographic position, while also symbolizing a fluid cultural space.

This concept of “fluidity” is not only manifest in the Chen brothers’ content and subject matter, but more importantly, it brings a new understanding of their working approach to art. In the Mulan River Project, their focus has shifted from the artwork at the fore to the background dimension which gave rise to the artwork, the cultural and conceptual background, as well as the material and production practice. Thus, a key property of the Mulan River Project is its reframing of the entire chain of artwork production and exhibition. Those components that were once cut off by the “frame” or the “plinth,” those things that serve as process and conditions, such as sketches, photographs, castoff materials, packaging materials and exhibition spaces, and the relationships between all of these elements, are treated as language that can be selected and deployed. In this sense, the Mulan River Project is a continuing art project, rather than a series of individual artworks.

As people generally understand contemporary art today, there is nothing new about viewing art as a system, and project-oriented art practices are not rare, but most of the time, such artistic practices are established on a starting point of rejecting and criticizing issues within the art system. Such practices remain within the realm of a presupposed artistic self-discipline—even if it is expanded to the self-discipline of an artistic social system. In comparison, Chen Yufan and Chen Yujun's Mulan River Project is directed not at problems within the art system, but instead gradually expands outwards along a “natural/ethical order” from individual to clan to nation to the world. The artistic methodology and language shift with this process, and the specific artworks and projects grow out of it.

In the Mulan River Project, each instance of growth is specific, a response, adjustment and breakthrough in regard to specific circumstances. For example, in the ON | OFF exhibition, the artwork Mulan River | Home used the form of a building facade to assemble a series of units consisting of shipping crates. Many of the details in the structure are inextricably linked to the architectural traits of Fujian Province. The shape of the entire facade was based on a large cross-section of the Ullens Centre exhibition hall, its sheer mass and height creating a form of distant viewing. This ritualized vision made this instance of the Mulan River Project resemble something like the memorial arch from Fujianese culture, bestowing it with archetypal monumentality. In the latest exhibition plan for Mulan River | Home, the shipping crate units are scattered across the exhibition space, and the audience is placed on a raised walkway, where their gaze can wander about the scene, or stare down from above. The entire space resembles the ruins of a city or courtyard compound. This adjustment from memorial arch to courtyard is at once an adaptation to the exhibition space and an active experiment in ways of seeing. Here, Mulan River | Home presents two dimensions that have always been encompassed in the name: fluidity and shelter.

 

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