First Solo Exhibition of Chinese Artist Yang Fudong in Canada Opens May 12

Vancouver, BC – In the latest installment of TD NEXT: A Series of Artist Projects from the Pacific Rim, the Vancouver Art Gallery will open Yang Fudong: Fifth Night on May 12th. This exhibition presents the work of one of the most important media artists in contemporary China. Sometimes compared to filmmakers Ingmar Bergman and Andrei Tarkovski, Yang Fudong produces elegant film and video installations that engage the cinematic traditions of both Hollywood and experimental film. The Vancouver Art Gallery is honoured to host the artist’s first solo exhibition at a public gallery in Canada.

Yang Fudong, Fifth Night, 2010 (video still), 7 channel video installation. Courtesy of Yang Fudong, ShanghART Gallery and Marian Goodman Gallery.

Fifth Night is a multi-channel video installation which captures in black-and-white a single scene from seven different vantage points. In a genre the artist refers to as “multiple view film,” the video is projected on seven large synchronized screens, spanning 21 meters in length. Each of the screens concentrates on one of a diverse cast of characters inhabiting the same space, including two attractive young women in dresses, elderly men sitting on a settee, a pair of vagabonds and some labourers. The characters wander aimlessly, lost in their own thoughts, though they sometimes cross paths and make brief eye contact. The action unfolds across all the screens at once — with characters appearing, disappearing and reappearing across the screens.

“Fifth Night can be seen as a midnight theatre for an audience of one,” the artist Yang Fudong said. “The characters in the work are young men and women who are wandering the street in the depth of the night. Each of them has a purpose, whether clear or vague… I want to capture those fleeting moments of a melancholic state of mind that sometimes occurs in young people’s dreams and to present these on screen.”

Filmmaker Yang Fudong (b. 1971) studied art at the China Academy of Fine Arts in Hangzhou. He began working in film and video in the 1990s and has exhibited at the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007), the 5th AsiaPacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (2006) and the international biennales in Moscow, Sharjah, Prague and Shanghai. He has had solo shows at Parasol Unit (London 2001, 2006), the Kunsthalle Wien (Vienna, 2005), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam, 2005), Castello di Rivoli (Torino, 2005) and the ARC/Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2003).

Yang Fudong: Fifth Night is the thirteenth installment of TD NEXT: A Series of Artist Projects from the Pacific Rim, presented by TD Bank Group. The series highlights works previously not seen in Vancouver and seeks to engage the diverse practices of Pacific Rim artists. Fifth Night is organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery and curated by chief curator/associate director Daina Augaitis in conjunction with Yellow Signal. Yellow Signal: New Media in China is a multi-venue presentation ofnew media work by contemporary Chinese artists, initiated by Shengtian Zhang and coordinated by Centre A in Vancouver.

With generous support from Xi’an Art Museum, Shaanxi, China and the Ministry of Culture in Beijing.

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