Prada Rong Zhai Presents "Storytelling" - a Solo Exhibition by Liu Ye

Monday, December 24, 2018
Prada Rong Zhai Presents "Storytelling" - a Solo Exhibition by Liu Ye

Prada presents “Storytelling”, a solo show by Chinese painter Liu Ye curated by Udo Kittelmann, with the support of Fondazione Prada. On view through 20 January 2019, it will take place in the premises of Rong Zhai, a 1918 historical residence in Shanghai restored by Prada and reopened in October 2017. The exhibition project will show the work of Liu Ye through a selection of 30 paintings realized from 1992 onwards.

Image: Exhibition view of “Storytelling” by Liu Ye, Liu Ye, Girl with Bricks

 

Prada presents “Storytelling”, a solo show by Chinese painter Liu Ye curated by Udo Kittelmann, with the support of Fondazione Prada. On view through 20 January 2019, it will take place in the premises of Rong Zhai, a 1918 historical residence in Shanghai restored by Prada and reopened in October 2017. The exhibition project will show the work of Liu Ye through a selection of 30 paintings realized from 1992 onwards.

 

Storytelling_9, Exhibition view of “Storytelling” by Liu Ye, Liu Ye, Catherine Deneuve, 2012
Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 45 cm, Photo: Haoyue Jiang

 

Liu Ye expresses an intimate and sensual imagination, that feeds on heterogeneous sources related to literature, history of art and popular culture from the Western and Eastern hemisphere, giving rise to atmospheres which evoke introspection, purity and suspension. In the artist’s oeuvre the stylistic features of fairy-tales coexist with the sense of humor and a parodic vein.

 

Liu Ye, Book Painting No.20, (Blossfeldt, Urformen der kunst, verlag Ernst wasmuth GMBH, Berlin, 1936.), 2017, Acrylic on canvas 37,5 x 52 cm Private Collection, Beijing, Photo: Cao Yong (曹勇)

 

Referring to his own artistic production, Liu Ye underlined that “every work is my self-portrait”. Combining different elements and sources, his paintings are generated by a plurality of creative forces: memory, observation, imagination and artistic education. All his works are pervaded by a certain ambiguity as they seem suspended between two worlds: reality and invention. During his artistic development he created a personal domain, at the same time accessible and impenetrable to others, which can be described as a subjective reality.

 

Storytelling_11, Exhibition view of “Storytelling” by Liu Ye, From left to right:, Liu Ye, Eleven Cherries, 2007, Acrylic on canvas, 100 x 80 cm, Liu Ye, Mondrian in the Morning, 2000, Acrylic on canvas, 180 x 180 cm, Photo: Haoyue Jiang

 

Exhibition view of “Storytelling” by Liu Ye, Liu Ye, Girl with Bricks 

 

One of the most distinctive feature of Liu Ye’s initial approach was the collision of anachronisms, typical of an individual immersed in a foreign culture: modern art motives combined with old masters’ quotations, western cultural references associated to Chinese cultural icons. The autobiographical nature of his work assumed another connotation after his return to his homeland from Europe in the late nineties. He employed his art as a mean of self-exploration and discovery, in a context in which artistic creation and daily life mutually influenced each other.

 

Storytelling_1, Exhibition view of “Storytelling” by Liu Ye, Eileen Chang, 2004, Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 45 cm, Photo: Haoyue Jiang

 

Within the decorated spaces of Prada Rong Zhai, Liu Ye’s enigmatic works will acquire a new layer of meaning, engaging a dialogue with the architecture and the unique atmosphere of this historic, early 20th century mansion, which was originally conceived as a place of encounter between European and Chinese traditions.

 

The sequence of the rooms of Rong Zhai’s two main floors will punctuate the exhibition, revealing unexpected resonances between Liu Ye’s paintings, and their relation to the architectural and decorative elements. Visitors will be invited to freely move around the different spaces in order to create a palimpsest of images, memories and new stories told by the artist. 

 

"Storytelling" at Prada Rong Zhai

 

Until  20 January 2019

 

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