Connoisseur Contemporary will be presenting a solo exhibition of contemporary Chinese artist CHAN Yu from April 20 to May 10, 2012.
Chan Yu’s work commands a standing in the contemporary art world because of both their meaning and presentation. Chan Yu’s previous series was heavily centered on his own concept of identity. His 2008 solo in Connoisseur Contemporary titled “The Absence of Self; The Presence of Images”, required him to see himself from a third-person perspective and subsequently look at another person as himself; in order to establish his identity. In the end he believes that our identity is affirmed by the presence of others and that often, we are just trying on alter egos to see which fits best. His work is now recognizable by his style of repetitive, overlapping layering of images that have become a symbol of his evolution as a person and as an artist with a complex personality.
His new solo is an extension of this concept, and an even bigger step from the individual to the social sphere and featuring only on well-known cultural icons. Some of them, 20th century personalities such as James Dean, Audrey Hepburn, Bruce Lee, Jim Morrison, are being portrayed as a representation of not only of their diversity but also a phenomenon that these people, who pass on at a very young age, became unbounded and easily recognizable and iconic symbols in our society. Despite their “absence”, their “presence” continues throughout generations, influencing us in different ways and dimensions. The series hints at the fact that we all have different personalities in each of us. By multiplying and applying numerous layers of paint the artist tries to draw our attention towards a complexity of different aspects of our own identity; while at the same time, celebrating the legacy of these cultural icons whom we adore and idolize.