Duan Jianyu: Sharp, Sharp, Smart

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Concept: The Pavilion|Editor: Hu Fang, Wang Xiaoyu|Translator: Andrew Maerkle|Designer: Du Yun|2016|86 pages|Hardcover, 24×18 cm|Chinese & English|Price: 90 RMB

Duan Jianyu: Sharp, Sharp, Smart completes with the whole “shamate” series she had been working on in last three years, and featured with the drafts produced in the creation process. What is “shamate” in Duan Jianyu’s intention? The question would be only answered by the works in the book, or inspire more thoughts on pure painting.

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In fact, everything is disturbed, and standing before Duan Jianyu’s paintings I sense the faint quivers coursing through my body, which make me realize that without a more appropriate language (such as the “Martian” so cherished by the shām?tè), I cannot adequately depict what I see, there is no possibility of preserving from the start the unity of the primitive experience suggested by the body’s trembling, as well as the ecstasy that comes from the experience of disruption – an ecstasy that has been almost completely exhausted in the experience of contemporary life. Compared to those creations in which one projects a conceptual vision onto the canvas, or uses the standards of an ideal form to unsettle reality, the question of how to make the work into something “as chaotic as reality” is far more interesting and challenging. Ultimately, the artist must transcend painterly technique to liberate the inherent ambiguity and complexity of living.

- Excerpts from Hu Fang: Golden Bough about to Flower; Big Breasts Want a Trim, Sharp, Sharp, Smart, p.72

Texts and Images: Courtesy The Vitamin Archive

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