Yang Zhu (CN/NO)
Education 1984-88 Shanghai Normal Universitet, Kunstafdelingen, Kina Solo exhibitions Galleri V58, SOLO, Aarhus, DK, 2020 Galleri V58, A Quiet Place, Aarhus, DK, 2019 Atelier Yang, Sandnes, NO, 2003 - 2019 Galleri Saint Fiacre, Paris, FR, 2015 Galleri Amare, Stavanger, NO, 2014 Galleri Ramfjord, Oslo, NO, 2013 Galleri Sult, Stavanger, NO, 2012 Thereses Kunstsalong, Oslo, NO, 2001 Galleri Amare, Stavanger, NO, 1992 -08 Galleri Koll, Stavanger, NO, 1991 Selected group exhibitions GALLERI V58, "Wintershow", 2020 Galleri Amare, Stavanger, NO, 1992 - 2018 Galleri Koll, Stavanger, NO, 1991 – 2018 Galleri Ramfjord, Oslo, NO, 2010 – 2016 Galleri Henrik Gerner, Moss, NO, 2011 Salon d' Automne, Paris, FR, 2006 - 2007 Greenhouse Gallery, Texas, USA, 2005 - 2006 Salon International Lyon, FR, 1999 Opplandsutstillingen, Lillehammer, NO, 1991
The Norwegian/Chinese artist Yang Zhu is working with strong contrasts and symbolism. Yang is educated in fine arts at Shanghai University, but moves from Shanghai to Stavanger in 1989 wishing to experience a more tranquil everyday life away from the city’s racket. He immerses himself in the oil painting and derives great inspiration from Norway’s spectacular nature, which is reflected in his powerful, expressionistic backgrounds. He creates rough, raw settings proving great technical abilities.
But Yang Zhu is no ordinary Norwegian painter; this clearly shows in his stringent, classic woman depictions, which to a greater extend is representative of his Chinese origin. The works explore the contrasts between raw nature and the unspoiled beauty of the female – often with an underlying uneasiness, which is characteristic of magical realism. The women are at the center of the exhibition, and upon them rest a meditative melancholia strengthened by the fact that the beholder is never confronted by their look. They close their eyes, turn their backs or are blindfolded – they find themselves in a quiet, tranquil dream world.
An almost celestial atmosphere rests upon Yang’s paintings. It reflects in the characteristic, intense light, but also in the symbolism of the works, which is recurring throughout the exhibition. The white dresses of the women speak of innocence and are in stark contrast to the deep, structured backgrounds. The surfaces are softened by birds and hot air balloons flying through the paintings, whisking away the beholder on a liberating journey.
Yang Zhu is with his elements of magical realism a direct continuation of Galleri V58’s profile and common thread and therefore an obvious choice for this solo exhibition. Furthermore his technical abilities; brushwork and structure are magnificent – an outstanding experience!
stud.mag. Nordic language and literature & Visual Culture, Anna Emilie Ravn