Chen Fei
"The Day is Yet Long"

March 12 - May 2, 2016
Opening: Saturday, March 12, 2016; 4 - 7pm


Chen Fei

Romance of the Mute, 2014
acrylic on linen
180 x 240 cm



Chen Fei
The Day is Yet Long

2016 (english)

Galerie Urs Meile Beijing is honoured to announce the opening of The Day is Yet Long from our up-andcoming artist Chen Fei (*1983 in Hongtong, Shanxi, China). This is his first solo exhibition since he began working with Galerie Urs Meile. The exhibition will feature a series of works that the artist has created over the past few years. Chen Fei’s main creative media is painting, and he particularly loves a “super flat” creative technique that is straightforward and clean. Under bright and beautiful colours and clean, almost mechanical lines, a simple visual disguise is created. With consistently strong narrative characteristics, disturbing emotions leak out.

What Chen Fei’s paintings are concerned with is certainly not any kind of grand theme. His expertise is the choreography of the scene. Those scenes of daily life could not be any more common but, because of tedious detail and character arrangement, often bring out a compact tension and an unexpected sense of drama. Chen Fei has an almost paranoid discipline towards detail: wallpapers covered with blossoming flowers, lush and expansive forests, thick, flowing hair… Chen Fei mechanically traces every line and every nuance without care for how much paint, effort, or time required. Because of this, he injects a strong sense of realism and the feeling of a film still into his work. Viewers standing in front of the canvas often back away out of discomfort. However, in spite of this, they are often still “kidnapped” into speculating on the canvas’ psychological narrative and characters.

Chen Fei’s works have been mostly autobiographical. Railing against politics while at the same time lampooning morality, Chen Fei also likes to mock himself. In the series of works of all the same size (180 × 240 cm) that we are exhibiting this time, he often imbeds himself in the paintings as characters: as a bare-chested shop owner leaning on the counter in a slightly offensive manner (Hornet, 2013), as a completely naked man covered in tattoos (I am the Jungle, 2015), surprisingly, as a worker displaying frustration at his just-completed sexual performance on the production line of a state of the art automated car plant (Lychee, 2015), or as ‘police officer’ standing intently along a lake with a leg up on the railing next to a scantily-clad female pan-handler (the last piece of this series, The Day is Yet Long, 2015)… Chen Fei mocks himself without mercy. A backdrop of obvious nudity and images of genitals signify lust, ugliness, etc. as a kind of abstract experience.

In the work Non-cooperation (2015), Chen Fei has avoided himself, instead using an elegant man wearing nice glasses. However, the scene has been arranged in an “atypical” karaoke club, where an ugly side of pork lies between the man and the woman procured for a short transaction. Chen Fei’s works are filled with purpose and visual elements, often referred to as “bad taste”, yet they affect the viewer’s eye in a strange way.

His quirky imagination takes the plain and ordinary and adds attractive imagery and tension, and his paranoia towards detail and “accuracy” makes his scenes’ arrangements surprising, yet highly believable. At the same time, he gives the viewer the excitement of breaking through an ugly, false mask. Chen Fei’s fine painting method determines that his painting is a slow, almost boring, process. But in this kind of month and year-long exploration, he gives his own movie script the perfect subtext and gives the viewer a sensory experience of discomfort that does not fade.

A catalogue published by the gallery, with a text by Karen Smith (Art Critic, Curator, and Executive Director of the OCAT museum in Xi’an), will accompany the exhibition.

Chen Fei (*1983 in Hongtong, Shanxi, China) graduated from Beijing Film Academy Fine Art department in 2005 and currently lives and works in Beijing. The artist’s recent exhibitions include the solo exhibition Flesh and Me (2014) at Galerie Perrotin’s Hong Kong space. Group exhibitions include: The Civil Power—Beijing Minsheng Modern Art Museum Opening Exhibition, Beijing Minsheng Art Museum, Beijing, China (2015); A New Dynasty—Created in China, ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, Aarhus, Denmark (2015); 1199 People, Long Museum, Shanghai, China (2014) as well as 1st CAFAM Future Exhibition, China Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum (2012). In 2012, he received the Martell Art Fund’s ‘Focus on Talents Project’ award.


Yan Xing
"Nuit et brouillard"

February 12, 2016 - April 30, 2016
Opening: Friday, February 12, 2016; 6 - 8pm


Yan Xing

The Story of Shame, 2015,
inkjet print, 100 x 80 cm (print), edition of 3 + 2 AP, 40 x 32 cm (print), edition of 5 + 2 AP



Yan Xing
Nuit et brouillard

2016 (english)

Galerie Urs Meile is delighted to announce the opening of Yan Xing’s (*1986 in Chongqing, China) solo exhibition, Nuit et brouillard, at the Lucerne gallery. This exhibition will feature a series of new works in a variety of different media, including installation, photography, space, and design, that explore the many layers of negativity through the process of artistic language.

Yan Xing has always had a keen interest in the mechanisms of how histories and canons are built, and the divergent histories of the modern exhibition form are woven through a number of his works. One series of photographs, The Story of Shame (2015), for example, is about shame and its related emotions: disgrace, humiliation, embarrassment, cowardice, and shyness. Those photographs are obstructed so accurately that they reveal implicitly inept, anti-expressive tendencies. If art were a machine, then these hidden, downward-moving, tragic features would be this machine’s lubricant.

Looking back at his past artistic practice, Yan Xing has appropriated Western classics more than once. The reconstruction of legitimacy has often been the common denominator of his artistic language. The works of Tendon (2015) explore the body in between muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments, or even beyond them; with respect to the fate of artistry and beauty, they conceal the exact strength of technical polish, artistic discipline, and the refinement of expression—rules that encircle logic. In the collaborative mechanisms in between artistic production, the power of art, and the work of art, how does one discuss “the wellsprings from which art arises?”

Other works, titled Thief (print, 2015) and Thief (copper, 2015) are also part of the exhibition. They are printed, respectively etched, with the Chinese character for “thief”, rendered in Fang Song, one of the standard typefaces of simplified Chinese.

A catalogue published by the gallery, with texts by Philip Tinari (Director, Ullens Center for Contemporary art, Beijing, China) and Sam Thorne (Artistic Director, Tate St Ives, St Ives, UK), will accompany the exhibition.

Yan Xing was born in Chongqing in 1986, and currently lives and works in Beijing and Los Angeles. He graduated from the Oil Painting Department of the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in 2009. Yan Xing has won the Chinese Contemporary Art Award (CCAA) – Best Young Artist Award and also been nominated for the Future Generation Art Prize, awarded by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation in 2012.

Yan Xing’s commissioned, new performance work, Performance of a Massacre (2016), will be shown on January 29, 2016, at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. In the meantime, his new performance will be presented at the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, Center for the Arts, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, USA, in late February. In 2016 his first solo exhibition at an American museum will open at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA.

His recent major exhibitions include the 3rd Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art, Yekaterinburg, Russia (2015); Chercher le garçon, Musée d’Art contemporain du Val-de-Marne (MAC/VAL), Vitrysur-Seine, France (2015); Traveling Alone, Tromsø Kunstforening, Tromsø, Norway (2015); My Generation: Young Chinese Artists, Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, Florida, USA (2014); The 8 of Paths, Uferhallen, Berlin, Germany (2014); China China, Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev, Ukraine (2013); 28 Chinese, Rubell Family Collection, Miami, Florida, USA (2013); ON | OFF: China’s Young Artists in Concept and Practice, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), Beijing, China (2013); Yan Xing, Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester, UK (2012); Unfinished Country: New Video From China, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH), Houston, Texas, USA (2012); 3rd Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, Central House of Artists (CHA), Moscow, Russia (2012); 7th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale, OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (OCAT), Shenzhen, China (2012).Yan Xing’s works are collected by museums and public institutions, including the Erlenmeyer Foundation, the Rubell Family Collection, the M+ Museum for Visual Culture, and the Kadist Art Foundation.


2016 (deutsch)

Die Galerie Urs Meile freut sich, die Einzelausstellung Nuit et brouillard mit dem chinesischen Künstler Yan Xing (*1986 in Chongqing, China) in der Galerie in Luzern zu eröffnen. Die Ausstellung präsentiert eine Reihe neuer Werkserien in den Medien Fotografie und Installation, in denen sich der Künstler auf vielschichtige Weise unter anderem mit dem Thema Negativität auseinandersetzt.

Yan Xing interessierte sich schon immer dafür, wie Geschichte geschrieben wird und wie Regeln entstehen. Divergierende Traditionen in der modernen Ausstellungspraxis sind ebenfalls Teil seiner Werke. In der Fotoserie The Story of Shame (2015) geht es beispielsweise um Scham und anverwandte Gefühle wie Schande, Erniedrigung, Schüchternheit und Feigheit. Durch die Bildkomposition bleibt eine eindeutige Leseart verborgen, dafür offenbaren sich implizite, anti-expressive Tendenzen. Wenn Kunst eine Maschine wäre, so wären die verborgenen, bedrückenden und oft tragischen Aspekte, mit denen sich Yan Xing auseinandersetzt, ihr Schmiermittel.

Schaut man zurück auf seine künstlerische Praxis, so hat sich Yan Xing mehrmals an westlichen Klassikern orientiert. Fragen nach Gesetzmässigkeiten sowie deren Rekonstruktionen ziehen sich als gemeinsamer Nenner durch sein Werk. Die Arbeiten aus der Werkgruppe Tendon (2015) untersuchen die Muskeln, Knochen, Sehnen und Bänder des menschlichen Körpers. Für Yan Xing liegt der Fokus auf der Schönheit und dem künstlerischen Ausdruck anstatt auf der Transparenz in der Produktionsweise. Der Künstler befragt das Spannungsfeld zwischen der Macht der Kunst, des einzelnen Kunstwerks und der künstlerischen Produktion und interessiert sich für die “Quellen, aus denen die Kunst entspringt”.

Zwei andere Werkeditionen mit dem Titel Thief (2015) sind ebenfalls Teil der Ausstellung. Beide Werke zeigen das chinesische Schriftzeichen für Dieb (thief) in der Schriftart Fang Song, einer der Standard Schriftarten für vereinfachtes Chinesisch, wobei das Schriftzeichen einmal in einer Kupferplatte eingraviert ist und bei der zweiten Arbeit als Inkjetprint auf Papier gedruckt ist.

Im Rahmen der Ausstellung publiziert die Galerie einen Katalog mit Texten von Philip Tinari (Direktor des Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China) und Sam Thorne (Artistic Director der Tate St Ives in Grossbritannien).

Yan Xing, 1986 in Chongqing geboren, lebt und arbeitet in Peking und Los Angeles. 2009 schloss er sein Studium am Oil Painting Department des Sichuan Fine Arts Institute ab. 2012 gewann er den Chinese Contemporary Art Award (CCAA) in der Kategorie Best Young Artist und war nominiert für den Future Generation Art Prize der Victor Pinchuk Foundation. Yan Xings neue Performance Performance of a Massacre (2016) wird am 29. Januar 2016 im Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam aufgeführt. Ende Februar 2016 zeigt die Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery der Wesleyan University in Middletown, USA seine Performances. Yan Xings erste Einzelausstellung in einem amerikanischen Museum wird im Sommer 2016 im Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum an der Michigan State University in East Lansing eröffnet.

Zu den wichtigsten vergangenen Ausstellungen gehören: 3rd Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art, Yekaterinburg, Russland (2015); Chercher le garçon am Musée d’Art contemporain du Val-de-Marne (MAC/VAL), Vitry-sur-Seine, Frankreich (2015); Traveling Alone, Tromsø Kunstforening, Norwegen (2015); My Generation: Young Chinese Artists, Tampa Museum of Art, USA (2014); The 8 of Paths, Uferhallen, Berlin, Deutschland (2014); China China, Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev, Ukraine (2013); 28 Chinese, Rubell Family Collection, Miami, USA (2013); ON | OFF: China’s Young Artists in Concept and Practice, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), Beijing, China (2013); Yan Xing, Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester, UK (2012); Unfinished Country: New Video From China, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, USA (2012); 3rd Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, Central House of Artists, Moskau, Russland (2012); 7th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale, OCT Contemporary Art Terminal, Shenzhen, China (2012).

Seine Werke befinden sich in Sammlungen von öffentlichen Institutionen und Museen wie der Erlenmeyer Foundation, der Rubell Family Collection, dem M+ Museum for Visual Culture und der Kadist Art Foundation.