Friday, September 16, 2016

Requiems for the Living : Artwork by Yang Fang Wei, curated by Nikki Schiro Opening Reception: Thursday 9/22 6-9pm

R e q u i e m s  f o r  t h e  L i v i n g     I      Y á n g   F a n g w ě i

Opening Reception September 22, 2016 6-9pm
By Appointment Only September 20 – September 28

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 16 2016, New York. OZANEAUX ArtSpace is pleased to present Requiems for the Living, a solo exhibition featuring the artwork of 杨方伟 (Yáng Fangwěi), an artist from Sichuan Provence (China), curated by Nikki Schiro.  This exhibition will feature a collection of narrative oil paintings, watercolors as well as documentation from his recent social engagement work, The Wheat Farm Project.

Yáng’s artwork is fueled by his fascination with social behavior and the possibilities of perception on “reality”. He uses an individualized, dynamic vocabulary of iconographic and formal imagery to build narratives.  Fangwěi sources symbols from the world around and within him. Like a metaphorical engineer, he fuses representational and non-representational imagery, imposing chaos and order intermittently, to work out relationships that ultimately transcend the barriers of social cultures and mental resistance.  His new paintings mark a turn from a violent nature--typically focusing on man’s insensibility, fallacy and delusion--to a calmer, more optimistic and peaceful in spirit, as Fangwei finds himself grounding his criticality within the spirit of traditional Chinese Traditional Art. The paintings in this exhibition are a first-look at this exploration.

The Wheat Farm Project is a social engagement art project that confronts contemporary culture(s) fragmented perception of progress and comfort by becoming a wheat farmer for a year. 

In recent decades, the government condensed farming into designated areas in Chengdu, building loft-like homes for farmers, to live in a community together. Those who didn’t want to live in those areas vacated, making room for artists communities to emerge within the farming village. It was in the farming village of Gao Fandian Cun that Nikki Schiro met Yáng Fangwěi on residency in the Gao Di artist community, and where Yang lived and worked for many years.   Living in these villages, it becomes apparent to artists that their day-to-day life relates, in its purest nature, to the life of the Farmer.  In the last couple of years, as Yang began to work on his PH.D., Gao Fan Dian Cun  was beginning to be demolished for a luxury high-rise development. Yang began to fixate on the effects of this social change. He considered how humans are unmistakably connected to one another (even at the most fundamental level of survival) and to the environment—the interconnectedness of ecosystem. Yet, ironically, modern living suggests and arguably encourages the illusion that man is detached from (or above, even) the natural world and universal laws, placing values on things that destroy this connection and challenge long and short-term survival.  To what degree and which conditions does contemporary lifestyle improve the well-being of people?  Is it possible to improve our own welfare, benefit the lives of countless others, without destruction or favoritism? How can one person make a difference? 

Yáng Fangwěi documents the project from the call to hundreds to send him a handful of dirt, though the harvesting and distribution of the wheat. He discovers his efforts are latent with exponential benefits, extending to countless people he’ll never know. 

Please join us in welcoming Yáng Fangwěi, here this month from China, at Opening Reception on September 22, 2016, 6-9pm.

OZANEAUX ArtSpace  515 W 20th Street, #4E New York, NY 10011

  • 515 West 20th Street, # 5E, New York City, NY 10011