Guan Yinfu
Guan Yinfu: Gravity of Eyes
2022.04.23 - 05.21
Triumph Gallery is pleased to announce that from April 23 to May 21, 2022, it will present Guan Yinfu's latest solo exhibition "Gravity of Eyes". As the first collaboration between Guan Yinfu and Triumph Gallery, this exhibition showcases nearly 20 works by the artist, focusing on his exploration in pigments and paintings.

Curator Bao Dong believes that Guan Yinfu's pigments are evenly blended, coalescing into a density between solid and liquid, and slowly slide down onto the canvas. Spreading out by its surrounding gravity, the mixture morphs into a smooth but protruding color block. While it is gradually solidifying, another block of pigment squeezes over. With two or more pigment blocks titillating, covering, blocking, and pulling one another on their contact lines… the whole process is permeated with a sense of “inert aesthetic”—soothing, stagnant, gooey—just like how Guan Yinfu christened one of his works Slow and Even Slower. 

The art of Guan Yinfu is the kind of art that submits to, grasps, and utilizes materiality, allowing paint, the most commonplace material for painters, to vocalize in its own way. He emphasized the material volume and industrial homogeneity of paint, and based on this, he has engendered a sensual form that’s correspondent to today’s material world. Acrylic, polyurethane, stainless steel, plywood, wooden crates, and various mediums—these processed materials that often appear in Guan Yinfu’s works are familiar but redundant, abundant but homogenous, in contemporary Chinese urban life. In comparison to the increasingly digital and virtual society, they seem a bit outmoded and obsolete, which bestow them a sense of authenticity. This kind of experience emerges in his works as a sense of inertia—all of this creates a sense of installation in Guan Yinfu’s works, although the artist has never intentionally elucidated any social issue in his works.

What he is trying to control is the sensuality of his forms. He often attempts to generate in his works a sense of sluggish movement, or some sort of moving postponement. With the delayed rhythm, large areas of dull, expansive color blocks, repetitive compositional structure, and slow-drying paint, Guan Yinfu seems to be telling a story about “inertia” with a restricted language. In his works, even colors appear to be slowed down, as he would always incorporate colors of the same tone, allowing color to be a subordinate to the paint and stripping away the information that was attached to its physicality. It then utilizes the sequences of the paint to formulate a spectrum that grants the compositional palette subtle, blunt energy.

The energies encapsulated in his works are to be experienced in certain specific settings. They cannot be “translated” into concept or knowledge, or be conveyed by photography. They require to be appreciated by the naked eye, or even, they reaffirm the importance of the naked eye, evoking an almost tactile, bodily sense of looking. The weight, thickness, vastness, folds, cracks, marks, gradual movements, and the spatial extension of the paint, all of these mobilize our gaze and force us to inwardly acknowledge the neglected existence surrounding us. Much like the interludes in stage plays, it allows the audiences to turn their attention towards time, space, and even attention itself. Guan Yinfu’s art sheds light on the enormous inertia and gravity within us.
Guan Yinfu
Guan Yinfu, born in 1975 in Heilongjiang Province, China, graduated from the Department of Theatre Arts at the Central Academy of Drama in 2002. He currently lives and works in Beijing.Throughout his career, Guan Yinfu has continuously explored the multi-dimensional material properties of pigments. The sensory qualities carried by the pigments are fully manifested as he constructs spatial order through establishing color relationships. Simultaneously, the interaction of gravity and tension on the substrate results in either thin or thick patches of color. A soothing, sluggish rhythm forms a unique "aesthetics of inertia" on his canvases. This aesthetic transforms the paintings into corporeal entities. Different thicknesses of color patches resemble skin and muscle, corresponding to the two threads of lightness and heaviness in Guan Yinfu's creations. His recent explorations in "The Ontological Turn" subtly echo the forefront of "New Materialism" trends. He also endeavors to penetrate beyond the surface of painting, delving into the depths of the spiritual realm. These varied forms of color blocks step onto the stage of spiritual drama.
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