Yu Nancheng

China / °1956
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Born in ChangZhou, Jiangsu Province in 1956, Yu NC is a professional artist currently residing in Shanghai. He studied painting early in his childhood and has been constantly engaged in art creation for more than 40 years. Yu NC’s breakthrough technique of layers by palette knife revolutionized the world of Chinese oil painting. Being Western in nature and origin, the technique adds for interesting contrast with the traditionally Chinese or classical elements of his artworks, and also contributes to his signature style of perceivable depth on canvas. This is visible in the awe inspiring multitudes in his ‘Tai Chi’ series as well as the soft contours and shadows of his nudes. Inspired by memory, the artist’s depictions are often aesthetic exaggerations in the pursuit of arresting visual impact. His ‘Tai Chi’ series was inspired by the sight of thousands practicing Tai Chi at Tiananmen Square in China. His sense of Chinese pride at this sight is evident by his predominant use of the colour red. The instance of this colour in almost all his works is symbolic tribute and pride for his country and a play on the use of the Western Technique that depicts it. By depicting the poses of the martial art itself, Yu brings forward the spirituality contained in these movements- the yin and yang, the hard and the soft coming together to generate energy; the power contained in this series is almost palpable and the artist’s view on the product of contrasts becomes more apparent than just his cultural juxtaposition of technique. In spite of its elements, the overarching locus of Yu’s works is unmistakable- aesthetics, aesthetics and more aesthetics.
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Malcolm Oei

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