Artist: Yang Xueyong
Curator: Cui Fuli
Opening: Saturday August 8th, 3.pm
Weekly Opening Days: Tuesday-Sunday
TCG Nordica International Arts Center
润城第二大道商1栋3层日新路与前兴路交叉口 F.3 -B.1 the Second Avenue of Rain Town, Kunming
This is not a dream series – Creative Speech
Every street and community has its own lottery. “Lottery” has a mythological meaning in which fates can change overnight, are dreams everyone can indulge in. The people who buy lottery tickets comes from all kinds of social strata, different ages and backgrounds, but they all have some things in common: They all want to be rich overnight and to change their fates. They also believe that this time they perhaps will be the “lucky ones”. As a result, the masses with this hopeful attitude have invested in this low-risk, high-return industry and indulged in it.
The ‘This is not a dream’-series has 365 works in total, utilizing techniques og traditional realistic style combined with the “scraping music” of lottery to create symbols. Combining the lottery number, lottery text and auspicious Chinese graphs with the traditional realistic style to create a visual effect that cheats our vision. The single graph for wealth symbolizes the desire for luxury goods, smart cars, the newest smartphone and other electronics, high-grade cosmetics, etc., all according to the individuals’ different situations, dreams and desires. There are many symbols of material welfare in my pieces of art: real estate certificates, passports, graduation certifocates from famous universities, marriage certificates, safety vaccines, empty medicine packings, ivory and rhinoceros horns, monkey brains, panaceas, train ticket from spring festival, health insurance cards, divorce certificates, cooking oil, healthy bodies, hearts, kidneys, birthday cakes, koi and so on. These symbols are also shaped according to contemporary and ever-changing circumstances: a telling example is the recent pandemic with the omnipresent need for PPE and various more doubtful means to protect ourselves against COVID-19.
These items are all wanted by people, but many items that many people cannot afford to buy, and there are even items that no matter how rich you are, because they cannot be found or perhaps doesn’t even exist. 365 can represent the individual 365 days of desires and dreams, where these symbols are placed and presented together. It is the concentrated presentation of the psychological landscape of people in present day society and it is also the reflection of all kinds of desires, worship of money, impetuousness, depressions, helplessness, hope, abnormalisms, speculations and so on in the present society. And people don’t think about it. Is this really a dream? Or not?
– Yang Xueyong 2020
Independent curator review
Yang Xueyong’s ‘This is not a Dream’ is a series of comprehensive material works created by “scraping music lottery”. Most of the works are high-grade luxury goods, college notices, marriage certificates and other images from daily life. However, behind every seemingly wanton and teasing image, is reflection of the inflated desires of countless vulnerable individuals. Each “lottery ticket”reflects not only the “sentient phase” of the new consumerist society, but also a fresh and real individual. Perhaps, the viewer will unconsciously associate his way of creation with the critical attitude of the artist, and I do not deny Yang Xueyong’s concern and reflection on reality in his works. But what I am more concerned about is the potential truth, cruelty and helplessness of his work, and this kind of desire has become more and more “pollution-free”. Yang Xueyong plays a dual role in the process of creation. He seems to be both a dreamer and a cold-minded viewer. He is not only the subject, but also the object, he is a dreammaker, but also a broken dreamer. ‘This is not a dream’ is mixed with contradictions and ambiguous.
– Independent curator and art critic Cui Fuli March 11, 2020