Curator： Tang Yifei
Artist： Pei Yanqing
Hive Center for Contemporary Art is pleased to announce artist Pei Yanqing’s first solo exhibition, Hive Becoming XLV Pei Yanqing: Beings that grow out of the time, on view at Hive Becoming in Shanghai. Curated by Tang Yifei, this exhibition features the artist’s latest series of oil paintings.
Pei Yanqing’s painting practice has never been closely focused on specific figures, objects or narratives, with the canvas always enshrouded in obscure boundaries. Upon her sense of the poise of the brushstroke and the shifting of light and shadow from years of training in Chinese painting, Pei has adopted this technique of image-making to render a light yet overlapping state in her oil paintings. Instead of accumulating paint, she establishes order between the beings and increases the depth of the painting with composition and lines, creating fragments and scenes that are at once afloat and elaborate. The living beings on the canvas reveal a more open or closed topological structure in her approach, and their relationship with each other evolves into unconventional tensions, ultimately becoming unstable new forms of multiple dislocations and collocations that may exist.
‘To regard a person in the same way as a stone or a tree’ is Pei’s reflection on her practice inspired by anthropologist Tim Ingold’s contemplation on sharing a more-than-human world with the surroundings as well as the derivation of the show’s Chinese title. This comprehension of beings is juxtaposed in the exhibition, Beings that grow out of them, where these subjects are not directly attributed to the subjects of Pei’s work but rather signify the state of simultaneous appearance of different living beings in the painting. The relationship between them is not factually interdependent but convergent and intertwined in various segmented conflicts, revealing a multiplicity of appearances across time and space. It begins with a swirling image of an animal or plant and gradually grows into an aggregate. Often, we associate the natural and physical world with cultural symbols; while viewing does not result in the existence of nature, it does create a sensual association with nature. Gradually these beings emerge from Pei’s mind, and multiply into new beings, no longer existing in their original manifestation but being re-embellished. In another context, the temporal rhythms of life are gradually reinforced in this structure of beings. The existence of ‘stone’, ‘tree’, and ‘person’ as different measures of life also suggests the potential for continuity of time. It seems that the rhythm of time is, therefore, transformed into different spaces, and through the intertwining of forms, everything is constantly collapsing, bursting, huddling, and chasing after each other; in endless succession, life acquires only relative motion and stasis. In every space and time, we (along with other species) are inevitably connected and entwined.
Pei Yanqing (born in Foshan, living and working in New York, USA) graduated with her BFA and MFA in Chinese Painting in 2014 and 2017, from China Academy of Art, and her MFA in Painting and Drawing in 2021, from Pratt Institute. Pei works with the idea that everything exists as one simultaneously while being connected to something else independently in her paintings. Her practice is an exploration of the intimate and symbiotic relationship between human beings and their surroundings with the focus on nature, as well as imaginations of poetic spaces derived from narrative contexts composed of Chinese ideographic characters. Pei’s pictorial vision is a chaotic yet harmonious representation of human communication, both with each other and the world around us. Pei’s recent exhibitions include: The Shape of Time, Lindon & Co, London, UK ; Fifteen Leaves, 3rd Year Exhibition of Prisma Art Prize, Contemporary Cluster, Rome, Italy; Moonlit Beings, Soka Art, Beijing, China; Terrain of the Skin, Hive Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China; “Surface Scope”，Carrie Able Gallery，New York，USA，2022；“The Other Art Fair Brooklyn，Agger Fish Building”，Brooklyn Navy Yard，New York，USA，2022; “Liminality：2022 Visual Art Exhibition of Asian Artists in America”，Liminality Art Space，New York，USA，2022；“The Next：International Juried Exhibition”，Li Tang Gallery，New York，USA，2022；“Shin Haus：Armory Week”，Shin Gallery，New York，2021.