Ge Yan is an oil painting artist from Hangzhou. He studied at the University of Arts of Hangzhou from 2010 to 2013. He is currently working and living in Shanghai.
The oil paintings of Ge Yan are full of intense colors. Traces of paintings lines with the brush are often visible on the background, reminding impressionism style. On some others, the deconstruction of the scene reminds the cubism movement.
His main subjects are the statues from the Antiquity. During this period, statues of gods or goddesses were admired and prayed, they had their role in the civilization. Nowadays, these old sculptures are most of the time exhibited in one museum. The spectator, who passes in front of them, looks at them as old pieces of History, which has no relation with his current life. These statues lost their religious aspect and became as expressive as still-life.
The willing of Ge Yan is to give back a role to these statues. Thus, he integrates them in daily life scenery. By this way, he gives them back a meaning and even a kind of second life.
This staging reminds sometimes the setting of one theatre, as if the statues were playing a role for the pleasure of the spectator.
In another series, Ge Yan paints a stacking of boxes. The organization of the boxes is confused and unstable. Each box could represent the privacy of one person, but putting them together, they became a public monument, where privacy is lost at the expense of collectivity.
Stacked Castle 6 (180*250)
A parallel could be undertaken between these works and the work of Yang Zhichao, who gathered diaries of Chinese people between 1949 and 1999. Each diary recounts the privacy life of one individual, but the group of them becomes one public art.
Yang Zhichao, Chinese Bible
However, the name of this series “Stacked Castle” indicates that, for Ge Yan, his boxes are not only a symbol of the privacy lost, but also a symbol of the construction in China, which sometimes is too fast and built without reflection process, which prevents it to last.
Ge Yan did his first solo exhibition in 2016 in Mao Space in Shanghai. He carried out several collective exhibitions before as in the C+ Galery in Beijing in 2016 or Five Five Gallery in Shanghai in 2017.