Ye Hongxing Prajñāpāramitā
Art Lexing Presents at The Opposite House, Beijing
April 27, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE
ART LEXING is pleased to present two installations by mix media Chinese artist Ye Hongxing “Prajñāpāramitā” at The Opposite House, Beijing, opening on April 27, 2017
Chinese artist Ye Hongxing will be showcasing two intricate installations that re-work the traditional Tibetan Buddhism symbols. Prajñāpāramitā renders ‘Mandala’ symbol in three-dimensions. A frequent motif in Hongxing’s epic paintings, this installation consists of her signature material -thousands of children’s stickers. The Mandala is placed on the floor and every form and detail consists entirely of these colourful, mass-produced jewel-like stickers. The effect is kaleidoscopic and dazzling - the form shimmers and glitters in front of the viewer. The colour, skill and identifiable childhood material used allows Hongxing’s work to be appreciated and understood by a broad global audience. Trained as a classical painter, Hongxing utilises her skill in colour, perspective and shading but chooses this unusual material, rather than paint, to create an astounding visual impact; but to also implicitly convey her ideas about contemporary culture.
The other installation “A Thousand Years of Fragrance” is a modern reference to a key practice within Tibetan and Vajrayana Buddhism - the carving of Mani stones. Mani stones are stones, pebbles or tablets upon which a six-syllable prayer reading, “Om mani padme hum” is inscribed. The closest translation (in any language) available reads “Behold, the jewel in the lotus flower”, yet proper identification of the phrase is impossible, given that the very essence of Buddha’s teachings are hidden within the reverberations and syllables of the mantra. It is a physical embodiment of that which cannot be spoken, defined, or even relayed by man-made efforts. Multidisciplinary artist Ye Hongxing has revised the practice of creating Mani stones, creating a collection of white marble sculptures in the shapes of common perfume and beverage bottles in our modern society. Through this practice, she explores the possibility of inner peace in an increasingly wired and distracted world.
The title of the piece ‘Prajñāpāramitā’is a central concept in Buddhism and it means "the Perfection of (Transcendent) Wisdom. The pagoda refers to the road to enlightenment – your life is your road, and Prajñāpāramitā urges you to transcend beyond impermanent illusions and the preconceived ideas you have been conditioned with, urging you to find your own true path. Audience are encouraged to place toys on the surface of Mandala based on their own interpretation.
Hongxing’s stickers and beverage bottles are otherwise seen as disposable and ephemeral objects – a comment on the disposable nature of contemporary culture. The sheer volume of the stickers echoes the overload of information that we are presented with on a daily basis. The title of this installation hints at the desire to overcome the illusory ‘maya’ of worldliness and societal conditioning. At the centre of the Mandala is a pagoda cascading with children’s toys. Pagodas were originally designed to house sacred Buddhist relics and writings – Hongxing’s toys are perhaps the relics of a more innocent time. Hongxing’s practice is a comment on the changing landscape of Asia - financially, technologically, culturally and environmentally. The rapid developments in this region have had a profound influence on Hongxing’s work and she seeks to highlight the complexities of this expansion. The paradox of constructing this spiritual emblem from secular children’s stickers and common perfume bottles is vividly communicated. The stickers are deftly applied with labour-intensive skill, adhering to the rhythmic concentric circles of the Mandala, and Hongxing’s message is propelled to the fore. If these modern advancements continue at such a rate - what will happen to the traditions and cultures of society? What will happen to spirituality and innocence? It seems Hongxing’s vision for the future is loaded with misgiving but the colour, texture and vitality in her work speaks equally of the wonder and joy in life that should be celebrated and embraced.
About Ye Hongxing
Beijing based artist Ye Hongxing claims that her work is a reaction to the “swift change of China’s social system”. As the rapid pace of modernity in China shapes a new generation, Hongxing has become part of an exciting new wave of artists, reacting and exploring the developments of that region. Hongxing's use of stickers create a dazzling visual effect, kaleidoscopic and fragmented. Fantastical landscapes and religious symbols appear through a mosiac of colourful stickers, usually collected and used during childhood. This low brand, mass produced everyday material, combined with potent imagery of religious symbolism and nature, effectively highlights the fusion of modern technology and secularism with the more traditional and spiritual aspects of Chinese culture.
Born in Guangxi in 1972, Hongxing graduated from the Educational Academy in Guilin, Guangxi, and from the Printing Department, Central Fine Art Academy, Beijing with Masters degree in 1998. Ye Hongxing’s work was selected by the Curator of the Asian Art Museum in California and the Director of Art Cologne (out of over a thousand other emerging Chinese Artists) as one of China’s top 20 young emerging artists in Chinese Art Prize 2006. Ye's work is widely collected by high profile figures in China and she is gaining more international attention than ever after showcasing last year at ART ASIA during Art Basel Miami Beach. Her works have also been shown at one of the most important and prestigious art expositions in Europe, such as Art Cologne, as well as in Miami, New York andWashington, DC.
About ART LEXÏNG
ART LEXÏNG is committed to promoting museum-quality works from emerging Asian artists, each with truly original and challenging perspectives filtered through photography, sculpture and traditional two-dimensional media. Participating in internationally-acclaimed art fairs and partnering with respected institutions and galleries throughout the United States and Europe, ART LEXÏNG presents its global audience with only the most forward-thinking, provocative works from Asia's brightest young talents. Based out of Miami, ART LEXÏNG has shown an array of works at venues including Art Asia Miami, artpalmbeach, Photo l.A, Zona Maco, Art Paris and Art Basel Hong Kong.
Stickers, toys and glass beads
80 x 300 x 300 cm (9 m2)
A Thousand Years of Fragrance