崔 岫 闻
Sculptor, Painter, *1966 Dalian, Liaoning, lives in Beijing
Yang Mayuan and the Philosophers, 2008
was born 1966 in Dalian, also known as Port Athur (British) alias
Dairen (Japanese), or Dalny (Russian), one of the strangest towns in
China. Stalin after liberating it from the Japanese presented it to
Mao (1950). In 1983 a flower-decked Stalin statue still graced the
center of town. The Russians were gone, but the town still looked
completely Russian from the former Opera House to the bed covers in
the hotel. Yang Maoyuan recalls, “There was almost no other type of
architecture apart from Russian style buildings in Lushun back then.
There were streets paved with cobble stones, houses with colonnades
on both sides, as well as yellow and pink buildings.“
Quoted from "Amazement"
Yang's ancestors were Buddhists, nomads from Mongolia. This explains the subjects which pursue him. He was born too late and was too emotionally solid to be troubled by the traumata that disturbed his Han colleagues, the Cultural Revolution, Agitprop, gender issues, or sex. Instead he searches for his Mongolian archetypes, animism, Buddhism, and the vast deserted landscapes of Central Asia. Few Han Chinese would voluntarily go to the Lop Nor region in the Taklamakan Desert to erect ancestral totem poles there. For several years Yang sewed up Shamanist sculptures from animal skins, sheep, goats, and the mythical Mongolian Horse. Larger than life they reflect his oldest dream symbols.
Later, in 2008 he made18 Budda heads in marble, with partly erased features to show the wear they suffered in his dreams.
In an interview he said: ”I don't
think that art has much to do with the world of creativity. Art is an
experience of mine. I get to understand myself through my work. In my
eyes, “people” are far more sophisticated and interesting than
art. My work is to present this complexity. That is the most
wonderful part of it.”
Quoted from U. Grosenick and C. H. Schübbe, “China Art Book”, DuMont, Köln 2006.
During his years in Beijing he became acquainted with Western Archetypes: Homer, Aristophanes, Voltaire and created a series of 9 bronze busts of them. He had discovered Brancusi's work and cast these busts in beautiful, highly polished “See-inside” bronzes.
In the last
two years Yang returned to block prints in the colors of the Djani
Buddhas and to a wonderfully volumetric series of the Western goddess
Venus raised from a Greek vase shape and painted in equally lively
Images from Yang Mayuan's website