Artist Yang Fudong is exhibiting his latest series of photographs at Marian Goodman’s Paris location. Titled The Coloured Sky: New Women II, the exhibition incorporates two bodies of work as well as a high-definition colored video installation that continues his use of dream-like worlds and constructions of fantasy through the female body.
Yang’s black and white series shows his figures in natural, outdoor settings. They are peaceful, with the selected women sitting gently along the water in their revealing clothing. Men are often grouped together, either seated on the ground or about to embark on a water sport activity. The artist’s photographs imply a certain action, yet beckon the viewer into an exchange with the works, as the high-definition images bring emphasis to minute details, both in the frame and on the bodies of his models, accentuated by a gentle, calming light that makes the works immediately immersive. They are comforting, relatable and even, at times, playful.
The artist’s newer series evokes more of the fantasy scape, using vibrant colors and posing women in more focused, occasionally surreal positions. The colorful backdrops used here push the models forward and forces viewers to focus on their serious facial expressions and their often bizarre environments. Utilizing props such as a snake, or posing his models in gently erotic positions, Yang’s colored series has a more material, directed movement. Together, these two series compliment each other in depth, and in their direct and indirect relations to each other.
The space breathes with the expressions and positions of his models. The faces staring outward request further consideration and recognition, often inviting viewers to draw their own conclusions. The faces that stare away vacantly in his photographs also demand further review of the captured moments and and scenery portrayed in these settings.
Amidst the darkness of the artist’s video installations, colorful lights and soft faces illuminate the space. His gentle narrative gives his figures immense emotion and breath, not to mention particularly vulnerable mystery and sexual, feminine power. This shining lights allow the faces and landscapes to glow within the darkened space, while his poetic use of color and contrast alludes to childhood memories and daydreams along the water.
The exhibition is on view through May 30th.
— A. Zlotowitz