Through Ye Hongxing’s kaleidoscopic world, ambitious themes of life, death, our relationship with the environment and the natural world are reflected in the innocent animations of children’s stickers. The artist’s monumental transformation of this material into epic compositions that reflect the complexities of our time can only be truly appreciated when viewing the works up close and in person.
The artist conceives elaborate scenes that meld animals, machinery, architecture, foliage, and symbolic imagery into mesmerizing works that dazzle and capture the frenetic energy of contemporary life. This collection features works from two new series – The End of the Brilliant – these circular works provide a porthole into a visually complex interpretation of reality. The fragmented aspects of the work reflect life’s disorder and alludes to divided states, both physical and metaphorical. The feature of the ‘flying figure’ is a symbol in traditional Chinese culture and spiritual works of art. The artists states “it visually echoes the tenacious flowers that emerge from the ruins, creating a context full of beauty and hope. It seems like a redemption or sublimation of the chaotic and fragmented reality and a breakthrough and comfort in the dark and noisy world”.
This sense of reflection is captured in Hongxing’s new Vanity series – inspired by Old Master painting and Dutch still life oil paintings from the 16th century. The beautiful displays of fruit, books, skulls and flowers symbolize the transience of time and remind the viewer of the worthlessness of worldly goods and pleasures. For the artist these scenes also reflect a tension between the economic and social balance across the globe, where disparities of wealth, the impact of globalization and climate change are highlighted.
Hongxing’s practice encourages profound debates on the state of our communities. The transformations due to globalisation that countries around the world have encountered are examined, and the artist questions the cost of this apparent progress. With money underpinning the very fabric of society, Hongxing questions what is at threat. By using familiar and ubiquitous children’s stickers, this medium speaks of innocence and the idea of democracy. The effect is dazzling and sublime, but beneath the surface Hongxing presents a world that is challenging our very nature, traditions and heritage that are possibly the most valuable assets of our time.
Born in 1972 in Beijing, Hongxing now lives and works in San Diego, USA. She was selected by the curator of the Asian Art Museum in California and the director of Art Cologne out of over a thousand emerging Chinese artists as one of China’s top twenty rising artists. Her unique aesthetic and use of children’s stickers has established her as one of China’s most exciting artists working today. Her work has been exhibited internationally including China Art Museum, Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art, Nanjing Museum of Contemporary Art, Visual Arts Centre of New Jersey, USA, Art Stage Singapore, India Art Fair, Pulse New York and recently at the Lux Art Institute in San Diego, USA where she completed a month-long residency. Her work is widely collected and has been placed in private collections around the world, including Asia, America, Europe and the UK.