Saturday, November 26, 2011

Yang Fudong

It's been a couple of years since the work of Yang Fudong first caught my attention – when Prada commissioned him for a short chic promotional piece. Despite that commercial connection Yang's independent films are relentlessly non-commercial, as he explains in an interview:

"People always ask whether I should show my films in a cinema or a gallery. And it’s a valid question – we already have the cinema, so why use the gallery space? But it would be torturous to show films like mine in a cinema! They have no plot, and are disordered in a traditional film sense."

"It’s not about nostalgia. People might make that assumption because it’s shot on black and white film, but for me that has nothing to do with nostalgia. Black and white film is another kind of colour screen – one that is pure and consistent."

"There is a popular trend in Chinese contemporary art which considers a piece of art as a revolution – and I can’t agree with it. Contemporary art should not have the burden of such functionality. It can’t resolve political issues. Sometimes I kind of agree with those who hate contemporary art, who think contemporary art is useless: it can’t cure diseases; it is not food. That’s why my work has nothing to do with politics or ideology. I am fascinated with the traditional aesthetics of yihui (ζ„δΌš, sensation) which never directly articulates a particular object but, instead, lyrically expresses its subjectivity."