Yang Xinguang: Winds of Spring

2023. 03. 11-05. 11

Beijing Commune is pleased to announce the opening of Yang Xinguang's fifth solo exhibition “Winds of Spring” at the gallery on March 11, 2023, presents the artist's explorations and latest creations that have been initiated in the past two years. The exhibition will run until May 11, 2023.


Yang Xinguang's works in recent years have continued the use of natural objects and a relaxed attitude towards nature. Natural materials and industrial materials are intertwined, overlapped and juxtaposed by the artist, becoming a sort of abstract portrayal of the contemporary landscape: In his work, whether grass or soil, are living subjects equal to human beings, they invade and subvert the narrative logic of the modernized development view in their own gestures in reverse.The title of the exhibition, "Winds of Spring,” gives people a bright association on a linguistic level, inviting them to enter the exhibition. But the space was not filled with the warm spring wind you might expect--Perhaps it is closer to the sometimes dusty spring days in Beijing. The “weed legion" is assembled in the center of the exhibition hall. These plant sculptures are Yang Xinguang's latest "Warriors" series, standing in various shapes and postures, like living individuals of all sorts.In the "Winds of Spring" series of works, the soil becomes the painting itself with its most original state, and condenses the dynamic force. The soil leaves the ground and becomes paintings that are hung around the exhibition space — he paints deep slices of soil, and also depicts the surface of the soil where animals crawl and leave sinuous traces. They became a sort of ecological evidence of the coexistence of known and unknown. The artist views the soil as the naked truth against a virtual world of smooth and clean. The soil is the place where all activities will leave a materialized memory.


As the spring winds blow, the dead in the soil is nurturing the new life. In the cities, dry branches and weeds are cleaned up by the sanitation workers, and the artificially tree-lawn are as green as ever in this spring. The expansion of modern cities has domesticated the plants from wildness to homogenized landscapes, while in Yang Xinguang's view, those active and unrecognized weeds at the edge of the city have experienced an exclusion history. However, as powerful species in vegetation, they show a stubborn fighting spirit in the ground-breaking zone, like guerrillas filled with wild energy. Hoping that everything would not be dissipated with the spring winds, artist selected a few particularly typical weeds of Beijing, wrapped them in steel and sealed them with varnish. In this "monumental" way,  their indomitable life force is honored. In his "Winds of Spring" painting series, the tiny wriggling bodies reveal a tension that has long been rooted deep in the soil. Just like the Chinese idiom “蠢蠢欲动”, the form of the Chinese character itself can express the meaning of this word. This intertextuality between morphology and linguistics came so easily in the hands of Yang Xinguang long ago that when we discuss vision, we often forget this double imaging of the psychological dimension. In the confrontation and experience of survival between nature and the city, Yang Xinguang has empathized with all things. the natural objects are not materials but performers for him, and they are individuals of expression existing on an equal level with human beings, which have their own dynamic subjectivity. When humans share feeling with objects, The human-object relationship is no longer one of division, demarcation and conquest.


Download PDF