Asian American Arts Centre helps promote Yun-Fei Ji’s recent exhibition
|Yun-Fei Ji, Last Days of Village Wen (detail), 2011
|Yun-Fei Ji, Mistaking Each Other For Ghosts, 2007
“Yun Fei Ji is coming to Chinatown. Such a prominent artist who is internationally recognized has asked that his next exhibition in NYC opening on April 28th be in this community. The last time he was here was in 96’ and 99’ when I had the chance to exhibit him at AAAC – Asian American Arts Centre. At that time he was an emerging artist. Long before his work was featured in ‘Displacement: the Three Gorges Dam and Contemporary Chinese Art’ in 2008 where reports of the flooding of the Yangtze River were based on his own interviews, research and observations, that revealed the impact on the Chinese people and their environment became an international story.
“As an American citizen he has seen other disasters, Hurricane Katrina, the financial crisis. His work has been about China, his quotes – ‘What do you do when so much control and power is concentrated in the hands of a few?’ ‘I saw…how the people who put in all the work paid the price, and the people who benefited from all the work paid no price.’ these are about China too, but their meaning has implications everywhere. This will be his sixth exhibition at the James Cohan Gallery over several years, some at their gallery in Shanghai. This is the first however, on 291 Grand St.
“ ‘I try to mimic the method that underlies …early Chinese characters: I invent forms that are like words to describe the world’ – Yun Fei Ji offers us as Chinese a way to describe the world, even the world of New York City.
“I have had the chance to exhibit several artists who are well known today, Ai Wei Wei, Mel Chin, Martin Wong, Xu Bing, and Zhang Hongtu among them, but all before they became so prominent. This may be the first time I will have the chance to welcome such an important artist back to this community. More of us going to the opening night would make this a wonderful occasion. Artists like these can give us and Chinatown itself a new image, can give us a sense of who we are today.”