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Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive opens Yang Fudong: Estranged Paradise, Works 1993–201

The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive presents Yang Fudong: Estranged Paradise, Works 1993–2013 an exhibition on view August 21, 2013 – December 8, 2013.

This first midcareer survey of the work of Yang Fudong (b. 1971) presents photographs, films, and multichannel videos by a leading figure in China’s contemporary art world and independent cinema movement.

Yang’s work reflects the ideals and anxieties of the generation born during and after the Cultural Revolution that is struggling to find its place in the rapidly changing society of the new China. Although he draws much of his subject matter from the consumerist contexts of contemporary urban China, many of his images recall the literati paintings of the seventeenth century (Yang first trained in painting before switching to photography and filmmaking). His films have an atemporal and dreamlike quality, marked by long and suspended sequences, divided narratives, and multiple relationships and storylines. In his recent installations, Yang reflects on the process of filmmaking itself, creating spatially open-ended multichannel films that he likens to traditional Chinese hand scrolls.

Our presentation of Yang’s work includes twenty years of photographs and video installations in the galleries; a film series at the PFA Theater co-curated by the artist that focuses on works that have influenced him; and a continuous loop of Yang’s single-channel films daily at midday in the Museum Theater. In addition, Gazing into Nature, an exhibition of twelfth- to fifteenth-century Chinese artworks from our collection, highlights the influence of traditional painting on Yang’s work.

Yang Fudong: Estranged Paradise, Works 1993–2013 is organized by Adjunct Senior Curator Philippe Pirotte and presented by BAM/PFA and the Kunsthalle Zürich. The exhibition is made possible in part by an anonymous donor; Marian Goodman Gallery; ShanghART Gallery; Dr. Rosalyn M. Laudati and Dr. James Pick; the Sifang Art Museum, Nanjing; the W.L.S. Spencer Foundation; Rena Bransten; Nion McEvoy; an anonymous foundation; and April and Glenn Bucksbaum.