Guan Yinfu
Skin Whisper, Muscle Poetry, and Narratage
2024.05.12 - 06.10
Through myriad ways, the body is present in the art of Guan Yinfu. The body becomes the executor of his creative act, with the resulting image in the composition a residue of a series of gestural movements—the placement of the canvas, pouring of the paint, intervention of external force, and manipulation of the boundary of the paint flow with tools. The external forces exerted on the medium, alongside the inherent force within its internal structure and the passage of time, define the texture and edges of its form. Guan’s art bears witness to his struggle with matter, acting as an interface on which corporeality and materiality mirror one another. 

Akin to skin and muscle, the thin and thick paint blobs on the canvas occupy the three-dimensional space, confronting the virtual depth in classical paintings with their actual volume and density. In the exhibition, two bodily subjects—skin and muscle—echo lightness and thickness—two main themes at the core of Guan Yinfu’s creative practice. Just as skin and muscle are interconnected and operate in tandem, the dialectical unity of lightness and thickness models the organic body. Skin and muscle converge to form a flowing language that equips the organic body with the function of expression. The skin whisper and muscle poetry form an intertextual structure that follows the order of the senses, formulating an enigmatic pictorial language in the artist’s works. 

Pierced through the skin of his paintings, Guan plunges into the depths of his inner world to excavate “narratages” with narrative potential in his recent works. The narratage embodies contents and things ineffable to oneself, the murmuring of one’s consciousness. Against the backdrop of the Material Turn, the materiality and spirituality in the paintings of Guan Yinfu appear inseparable, operating through the logic of the will to live, which proffer opportunities for the viewers to reflect upon. Narratage reveals the artist’s novel interpretation towards materiality and spirituality. Through this narratage, he led us into the “theater” he constructed. The skin whisper, muscle poetry, and narratage contrive the script while acting as the actors within the play. 
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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