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Chen Jiaye

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Red Gate Gallery participates in 2015 Art Central

Exhibition Venue: Central Habourfront 9 Lung Wo Road, Hong kong
Exhibition Dates: March 13 - 16, 2015

 

Essay: Chen Jiaye - Bamboo Series

Chen Jiaye takes classical works by famous painters from the Song and Yuan Dynasties as his inspirational source, but he does not simply replicate these ink paintings in oil. Chen Jiaye uses his refined realistic technique to create the effect that these ancient paintings have been ‘torn up’, ‘crumpled’, ‘burnt’ or ‘soaked’. As he removes a layer of illusion from the works, he creates another illusion, and the sense that the picture expresses fragmentation and incompleteness undoubtedly conveys the artist’s meditation on tradition in a contemporary encounter.

Chen Jiaye, Beijing

October, 2014

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Highly Prized Flowers

Exhibition Venue: Red Gate Gallery
Exhibition Dates: March 22 - April 16, 2014

 

Essay: Highly Prized Flowers

 

Harking back to tradition and drawing on it as a reflective mirror is not the same thing as simply returning to the past, nor does it necessarily point to cultural conservatism.

Tang Zehui

In April last year, Zhang Zheyi and Chen Jiaye took part in Red Gate Gallery’s group exhibition “Altered Shan Shui States”; marking the beginning of their collaboration with Red Gate, as well as the beginning of their friendship.

In this exhibition, “Highly Prized Flowers” (Tan Hua)1, the two artists continue their earlier re-imagining and re-creation of the tradition of classical Chinese painting. Setting out from a contemporary standpoint, they hark back to tradition, providing alternate interpretations of tradition by tackling subject matter that ranges from the traditional genre of landscape (shan shui) paintings to flower and bird (hua niao) and figural (ren wu) genres and by relying on their different experiences of life and artistic insights.

The artist Xu Bing recently said in an interview that “the environment in which I grew up and the education I had were influenced by Chinese tradition and the socialist period. In making art, if I don’t utilize these traditions, what are the alternatives, American culture? International culture?”2 In fact each generation of artists creates within an established artistic tradition or reality, and as either inheritors or rebels they cannot escape this influence. In contemporary society, tradition exists in all its complexity, however mottled, fragmentary, multi-faceted and permeable this might be. The social and cultural context of artistic traditions has long since undergone irreversible change, and the revival of a tradition in any fundamentalist sense is neither possible nor desirable. Yet, as a part of collective cultural memory it exists as a reserve of images that provide the creative background for contemporary artists.

The creative work of Zhang Zheyi and Chen Jiaye is fully cognizant and expressive of this complexity, and their attempts to break through the binary opposition between the “traditional” and the “contemporary” make the tradition relevant for what is of the moment, at the same time as the contemporary is imbued with historical dimension; their own unique and specific creative practice finds the meeting point of the traditional and the contemporary, unearthing this from the depths and extending it.

Chen Jiaye’s new works take classical works by Zhao Mengfu (1254 - 1322), Wu Yuanzhi (12th century) and other painters of the period since the Song and Yuan Dynasties as their mother lode, but they do not simply replicate these ink paintings in oil, but in a certain sense they restore material presence to these ancient paintings, and on their canvases they explore the various possibilities of their destinies. The artist uses his refined realistic technique to create the effect that these ancient paintings have been “torn up”, “crumpled”, “burnt” or “soaked”. At the same time as he removes a layer of illusion from the works, he creates another illusion, and the sense that the picture expresses fragmentation and incompleteness undoubtedly conveys the artist’s meditation on tradition in a contemporary encounter.

If we say that Chen Jiaye’s works are endowed with the powerful temperament of philosophical reflection, then Zhang Zheyi’s creative work expresses more of the elements of play and humour. He too works with oils, but his works are redolent of literati paintings (wen ren hua). He has an elevated awareness of traditional literature and culture, and his works draw on the traditional arts of poetry, calligraphy, painting, and seal carving; the ancient poems in rigorous classical rhyme and meter that adorn his paintings are his own compositions, as are the prefatory inscriptions that also appear on his works. Even though he includes cast iron toys, glass beads, and even airplanes and astronauts in his paintings, they have none of the cuteness or exaggeration we associate with work of the so-called “cartoon generation”, but instead exude a familiar and elegant classical temperament. Some of his works directly draw on visual motifs from classical painting, and in “Resilient in the Frost” and “Flying above the Azure Causeway” he reconstructs the classic schema of “orchids” from traditional flower and bird paintings, but when his sinuous orchids are subjected to closer scrutiny they turn out to be the vapour trails left by a fighter jet. The title “Flying above the Azure Causeway” is an alliteration of the Chinese reading of the name of the “B-45 Fighter” (Bi Futi Feiwu), and the artist deliberately chose to transliterate the sounds with words full of colour and visual sense; painted on paper, the text and images are mutually referential and playfully fascinating.

In this exhibition, the two artists both pay particular homage to the leitmotif provided by the anonymous Song Dynasty masterpiece titled “Yellow Oriole on the Pomegranate Branches”, which they re-interpret in their different ways. To quote the lyric poem by Wen Tingjun (812 - 866), “looking at the flowers in the front and rear mirrors”, we see that their works inspired by the same original are very different, but we also see how their works simultaneously enhance and compliment each other.

 

Tang Zehui(Curator), Beijing

March, 2014

Translated by Dr Bruce Gordon Doar

 

1. “Highly Prized Flowers” (Tan Hua): The title of this exhibition succinctly encapsulates many aspects of the Chinese tradition. The term tanhua originally referred to “viewing flowers”, the aristocratic pastime of gathering in parks and gardens, notably in spring, to view the blossoms. From the Song Dynasty onwards the term was used to describe the scholar in the imperial examinations who won the highly elusive third place.

2. Xu Bing, “If I don’t utilize these traditions, what are the alternatives”, Interviewed by Pan Ge, New York Times (Chinese online), Feb 24, 2014

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陈家业 Chen Jiaye

 

1988           

Born in Zhejiang

2008  

Graduated from China Central Academy of Fine Arts High School

2012

Graduated from China Central Academy of Fine Arts, Oil Painting  

 Department (3rd Studio)

目前

Lives and works in Beijing

 

Solo Exhibition

2016            

Solo Exhibition,Red Gate Gallery(Coming Soon)

 

Group Exhibitions

2015

Spring, Red Gate Gallery

2014           

Art Nova 100, National Agriculture Exhibition Center, Beijing

 

Highly Prized Flowers by Zhang Zheyi and Chen Jiaye, Red Gate Gallery

 

Reconstruction of Memories, Gallery Beijing Space, Beijing

2013            

China : Chinese – a visual explanation of life in China, Red Gate Gallery

 

 Life in Art, Enjoy Museum of Art, Beijing

 

 Altered Shan Shui States, Red Gate Gallery

2012

All Things Equal, Young Chinese Contemporary Artists Show, National

 Convention Centre, Beijing

 

Journey of a Thousand Miles, CAFA Outstanding Graduate Show, CAFA Museum, Beijing

 

Central Academy of Fine Arts Graduate Show, CAFA Museum

2011

 Shanghai Art Fair, Shanghai

2010

 Bettering – Sincere Pursuit, Contemporary Art School Undergraduate Show, 798 4-Face Space Gallery, Beijing

 

Awards

Invisible City​          

China Central Academy of Fine Arts Department Graduation 1st Prize

Invisible City​    

Invisible City – “E-Land” Creative Scholarship

 

Collection

Rooftop

CAFA Museum

To Tear Series      

 various art collectors

 

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About Bamboo Series

Exhibition Venue: Red Gate Gallery, Art021 2014, ArtCentral 2015
Exhibition Dates: 2014 - 2015

 

Artist statement:

Chen Jiaye takes classical works by famous painters from the Song and Yuan Dynasties as his inspirational source, but he does not simply replicate these ink paintings in oil. Chen Jiaye uses his refined realistic technique to create the effect that these ancient paintings have been ‘torn up’, ‘crumpled’, ‘burnt’ or ‘soaked’. As he removes a layer of illusion from the works, he creates another illusion, and the sense that the picture expresses fragmentation and incompleteness undoubtedly conveys the artist’s meditation on tradition in a contemporary encounter.

 

Chen Jiaye, Beijing

August, 2014

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