Yang Jiechang: Die Rechnung bitte

Yang Jiechang: Die Rechnung bitte

underground flowers, 1989- 2009 by yang jiechang

Yang Jiechang

Underground Flowers, 1989- 2009, 2009

Price on Request

Saturday, May 3, 2014Thursday, June 26, 2014

Berlin, Germany

Yang Jiechang: Die Rechnung bitte
May 3 – June 28, 2014

Opening reception: Friday, May 2, 2014, 6 - 9 pm

ARNDT Berlin is pleased to present the solo exhibition ‘Die Rechnung bitte’ of the internationally recognized Chinese artist Yang Jiechang in Berlin.
His works are an expression and a result of a sustained questioning and redefining of the own identity refering to diverse cultures, which he encounters with a great directness. Incidental circumstances of diverse pla ces turn to basic elements as the recurrence, overlapping and intersection of disparate images. He choo s es major issues as his main theme, but his inspiration and imagination arise from the banal and common objects. His works cover a large span of media an d languages (as ink - wash painting, Chinese calligraphy, drawing, ph o tography, installation, performance, sound, music and multimedia).

The title of the exhibition ‘Die Rechnung bitte’ descends from a work of Yang Jiechang, showing a crippled soldier, st anding on a peg leg, with his head and right arm bandaged. This work is part of a series in which Yang Jiechang retraces and edits artworks by Adolf Hitler by trying to put himself into Hitler’s position. Hi t ler’s choice of subject was limited to images of the death, the suffering of his comrades and destruction of villages and monuments. According to Yang Jiechang we see no glorification of war, but just the opposite: For example, the triumphal arc – actually a symbol of victory and heroism – is represente d as a destroyed ruin. The artist concludes an “image against the war”. By reciting some of Hitler’s works Yang Jiechang does not attempt to show the dictator but the artist himself: the reversal of something negative to something pos i tive. There is an int erplay , but anything than “the trivialization of the bloody madness”. Yang Jiechangs works represents an interjection to maintain the critical di s tance to “search the enemy in oneself”. (Martina Köppel - Yang)

In another aspect of his approach he follows th e mainstream propaganda , be it in the media co n text on topics like 9/11, the communist regime or everyday discourses of terror and war. He is using traditional techniques of Chinese painting in a contemporary frame and co n text.
In his calligraphy - diptych ‘ Oh My God’ , accompanied by two video installations, the attack of the World Trade Ce n ter in New York at September 11, 2001 form the initial point. At this juncture Yang isn’t interested in the aspects of the terror and horror, but rather in backgrounds and verbal expressions of the people, as the e x clamation of a New York City citizen at the sight of the destroyed towers ‘Oh My God’ . For Yang Jiechang it’s an expression of truth, which is why he picked out this sentence as an initial point for his calligrap hy. The Cantonese equivalent ‘Oh Diu’ , translated with ‘Fuck’ , forms a convenient anti - pole. With his calligraphies he resists the Chinese tradition, to show only positive and bea u tiful, he rather shows the everyday occurrences, like banes and invectives: for Yang Jiechang words that apply to the whole last century. The language is a basic element in his works, an expression of cultural affili a tion.
The installation ‘Underground Flowers’ , produced for the twenty - year - old commemoration of the Tian’anmen ma s sacre, where the military stopped protests of students pro - democracy movement in 1989, is a statement of Yang to the occurrence. The world isn’t getting better for him, even if flowers grow from the bones of the killed. The work was first shown at the 10 th Biennale of Lyon, France, as in 2010 at S.M.A.K. in Gent, Be l gium.

Yang Jiechang (1956 Guangdong, China) studied from 1974 - 78 at the Foshan Folk - Art Institute in Guangdong, China. In 1982 he graduated from the Chinese Painting department of the Guangzhou Fine Arts Academy, China. He has participated in several solo and group exhibitions in Asia, Europe, USA and Australia since 1988. He lives and works in Paris and Heidelberg.