'"A Potent Force" brings together the work of two strongly individual Chinese artists, Duan Jianyu and Hu Xiaoyuan, both of whom happen to be female. The distinct sensibilities that they each bring to their art are an amalgam of their respective life experiences, of the incidental features of their personal background and the environs in which they grew up, and of the aspirations of their respective generations: Duan Jianyu was born in 1970 and graduated in 1995 from the oil painting department of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts; Hu Xiaoyuan was born 1977 and graduatedin 2002 from the design department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts.
If these two artists have anything in common beyond their gender, it is how society views them as women and, as a result, what the art world expects from them. The different ways in which they navigate these issues is evident in their work, and by means of two entirely unrelated approaches to artistic expression. Duan Jianyu is one of the finest painters at work in China today, with a visual vocabulary that appears at first as simple as child’s play and, yet, is a highly sophisticated mechanism for capturing her perceptive observations of the world. Hu Xiaoyuan works with a range of mediums with a particular strength in video, which she deploys as a sensual experience for the viewer, providing the maximum emotive force via a minimum of factual information to draw upon. An encounter with the work of each of these artists engages viewers on a direct and subconscious level and, at the same time, provides a great many ideas to contemplate.' - from museum's website.
Duan Jianyu employs oil painting as her main medium, but creates works that subvert our everday observation of landscapes and traditional Chinese paintings. She distorts reality by including seemingly unrelated objects that become mixed into the work.
Includes biographies of the artists and details of educational programmes organised around the exhibition.
Please note that the Archive also holds the full catalogue of the exhibition, the details of which can be found here