Galerie Templon is showing a series of neon installations by conceptual Chinese artist He An, never before seen in France.
He An's neon and LED sculptures are made up of characters stolen from the neon signs that light up his native city of Wuhan. Using these salvaged ideograms, often time - and weather - damaged, the artist recreates the names of people who are dear to him. For example, we see the name of his father and of a Japanese erotic actress, the illicit heroine of his youth when her banned videos circulated secretly in China.
He An's work is autobiographic and obsessive: he offers us an approach to contemporary Chinese society that is both intimate and subversive.
The artist's style falls somewhere between illegality and investigation, bringing us “a breath of authenticity, a slice of raw reality” as Jérôme Sans puts it.
Representing a new generation of emerging artists whose works explore cultural prohibitions and taboos, He An surprises us with his capacity to combine the tenderness of a gaze with the irony of criticism.
Born in 1972 in Wuhan, He An graduated from the Hubei Beaux-Arts Academy.
Initially interested in the practice of photography, He An now concentrates on sculpture and installations.
He has exhibited in Japan (2000), New York (2001) and Canton (2003) and participated in collective international exhibitions, such as “The Real Thing” at the Tate Liverpool in 2007 and “Rendez-vous 2008” at the Musée d’art contemporain (MAC) in Lyon.
In 2009, he showed his first personal exhibition at an institution at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) in Beijing, a show curated by Jérôme Sans.
The Galerie Templon exhibition has been put together with the help of the Hadrien de Montferrand Gallery in Beijing