Kulay-Diwa Gallery of Philippine Contemporary Art is a privately owned venue for artistic expression. It is strategically located within a cluster of progressive communities South of Manila. It has an independent exhibition area able to accommodate large-scale works, and a spacious garden ideal for outdoor programs, performances and sculpture installations.
Goals of Kulay-Diwa:
To discover and promote the works of talented, young and deserving Filipino Artist;
To serve as a cultural outpost and make the arts more accessible to the fast-growing communities South of Manila; and
To foster cultural interaction and exchanges with the local regions,Southeast Asia and other countries.
Diwa (Spirit, Thought)
In the early 1990s Yue Mingjun was part of the artistic community at Yuan Ming Yuan. This area on the outskirts of Beijing is a large park where young artists from all over China rented cheap housing from the local farmers. Apart from the low rents, the place had the great advantage of being for from the attentive eye of the authority. Eventually, the increasing reputation of the place did bring it to the attention of the police and, after a series of raids, the Yuan Ming Yuan community was broken up.
Yue Mingjun moved to another outlying area, Tongxian, along with some fifty other artists. This time, however, the income from the sales of paintings enabled almost all of them to have
cars, to travel. They have perhaps lost much of their old idealism. their social standing has risen, and though still subject to police surveillance they can live unmolested.
The full-toothed laughter of the cloned in Yue Minjun's work (you can actually count all thirty-two teeth) rings false - especially as in real life the artist laughs very rarely, and this version of himself (each clone is a self-portrait) seems to exists on canvas alone. LI Xianting, one of the greatest of contemporary Chinese art theorists, says of Yue Minjun that 'he constructs his artistic language as a self-ironic respnse to the spirtual vacuum and folly of modern-day China.' It is as if the mass of contradictions faced everyday were so absurdly dense that they led to a sort of pathological dissociation from self, expressed through these grotesque portraits.
The technique used is similar to that in advertising and propaganda posters: sharp outlines and rather even fields of color which give a 'Pop art' effect. In the works of recent years, the simplified human figures are generally all dressed alike and painted in a limited range of colors: the skin is a very kitsch pink, the lips are red and the disproportionately large inside of the mouth is done in perfect black. The gaping mouth occupies most of the face and is contrasted with the eyes, slits that are so tightly shut that vision is impossible. The visual impact of the works is enhanced not only by their mere size - some are enormous - but also by the complexity of their composition. These figures - as unseeing as they are insincerely jovial - are often in poses taken from Christian iconography or from popular Chinese art: the riddled body of St. Sebastian becomes a jolly scarecrow complete with totally-unfazed birds perching on the shoulders, whilst the 'greetings' putti of Chinese folklore are shown astride fat 'good luck' fish and painted as caricature portraits of the artist. Yue draws freely on the whole range of images that have formed his visual heritage over the years - and obviously one component of that heritage is the forced optimism of the figures in the art of revolutionary realism.
In his very recent series life (1999), the artist has broken the previous compositions down into smaller canvasses. There is a paradoxical relation between title and work, which only serves to heighten the sense of the absurd. Again these are self-portraits, but this time the focus is on the posing of the body, shown in forced, impractical attitudes. The skin tone has changed and become yellowish (which is more what one would expect of a Chinese portrait) - but the color is that of someone caught in a glaring headlight. Hence the light is as artificial as the expression on the face and the posture of the body. The effect of depth is achieved through the use of shadow, whilst, as already mentioned, the actual painting technique tends to render the surface of the work very flat.
Article written by Monica Dematte
Studied in the Oil Painting Department of Hebei Normal University, China.
Born in the town of Daqing in the province of Hei Long Jiang, China.
: : : Art Experiences : : :
《Dreaming of the Dragon’s Nation: Contemporary Art Exhibition from China》, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland.
《Shanghai Biennale 2004: Techniques of the Visible》,China.
《Guangju Biennale 2004: A Grain of Dust, A Drop of Water》,Korea.
《Art on the Beach: Sculptures》, Enrico Navarra Gallery, Ramatuelle, France.
《20 Years of Hanart TZ Gallery》,Hong Kong Art Center.
《China, the Body Everywhere?》,Maseille Museum of Contemporary Art, France.
《From China with Art》, Edwin Gallery & Indonesia National Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia.
《the Rest of the World》, Neuffer Am Park, Pirmasens, Germany.
《Newe Kunsthalle Mannheim 2》, Kunsthalle Mannheim, Germany.
《CP Open Biennale 2003》, Indonesia National Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia.
《People and People: Chinese Modern and Contemporary Art Collections of GDMA》, Guangdong Museum of Art(GDMA), Guangzhou, China.
《Living Conditions: Selections from the GDMA Collection of Contemporary Chinese Art》, GDMA, Guangzhou, China.
《Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition: Red Land, China》, Gwangju Art Museum, Korea.
《Korea and Chinese Painting-2002 New Expression》, Seoul Culture & Art Center, Korea.
《Chinese Contemporary Art》, Rekjavik Art Museum, Iceland.
《A Point in Time-Changsha》, Beauty Art Museum, Changsha, China
《The First Guangzhou Triennial》, Guangdong Museum of Art, China.
《Inaugural Exhibition: Contemporary Terracotta Warriors》, The Esplanade, Singapore.
《Golden Harvest-Chinese Contemporary Exhibition》, Croatia National Art Museum, Croatia.
《Ornament and Abstraction》, Foundation Beyeler, Switzerland.
《Hotpot: Chinese Contemporary Art》, Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo, Norway
《Towards a New lmage-Twenty Years of Contemporary Chinese Painting》, National Art Museum, Beijing; Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai; Sichuan Art Museum , Chendu; Guangdong Art Museum, Guangzhou, China.
《Song Zhuang》, Stadtische Galerie im Buntentor Bremen & KunstvereinLudwigshafen, Germany.
《Between...》, Chengdu Upriver Residence, Kunming Upriver Club, China.
《Portraits of Chinese Contemporaries》, The Culture Centre of FrancoisMitterrand, France.
《Our Friends》, Bauhaus University Art Gallery, Weimar, Germany.
《Open Boundary: the 48th Venice Biennale》, Venice, Italy.
《Transparence, opacité?-14 Chinese Contemporary Artists》, France, Italy.
《1999 Open Channels：The First Collecting Exhibition of Dongyu Museum of Fine Arts》, Dongyu Museum, Shenyang, China.
《New Modernism for a New Millennium: Works by Contemporary Asian Artists from the Logan Collection》, Linn Gallery, San Francisco, USA
《The Grand Tour, Chinese Contemporary》, London, England.
《The First Exhibition of Upriver Gallery Collection》, He Xiangning Art Gallery, Shenzhen, China.
《It's Me!-A Profile of Chinese Contemporary Art in the 90s》, Forbidden City & Tai Miao, Beijing, China.
《Beijing Prediction: Contemporary Art of China》, Beijing, China.
《"Quotation Marks": Chinese Contemporary Paintings》, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore.
《China Now》, Tokyo, Japan; Basel, Switzerland.
《China!》, Bonn Art Museum, Germany; Kuenstlerhaus, Wien, Austria.
《Art to Swatch》, take part in the Design of "The 1996 Artist Collection" of Swatch.
《Vision of China: Contemporary Chinese Painting by Chinese Masters》, Pacific City Club, Bangkok, Thailand.
《Contemporary Chinese Oil Painting Exhibition: From Realism to Post-Modernism》, Theoremes Gallery, Brussels, Belgium.
《Faces Behind the Bamboo Curtain: Works of Yue Min Jun and Yang Shao Bin》,Schoeni Art Gallery, Hong Kong.
《Yuan Ming Yuan Artists Exhibition》Yuan Ming Yuan, Beijing, China.
《Contemporary Modern Art Exhibition》, Beijing Friendship Guest House, China.
《"S" Art Exhibition》, Hebei Museum, China.
: : : Solo Exhibitions : : :
《Yue Min Jun: Sculptures & Paintings》, Schoeni Art Gallery, Hong Kong.
《Yue Min Jun: Beijing Ironicals》, Prüss & Ochs Gallery, Berlin, Germany.
《YueMinJun》, Meile Gallery , Switzerland.
《Soaking In Silly Laughter: one of Art Singapore 2002》, Soobin Art Gallery, Singapore.
《Yue Min Jun: Handling》, One World Art Center, China.
《Red Ocean-Yue Min Jun》, Chinese Contemporary, London. England.
Goals of Kulay-Diwa
To discover and promote the works of talented, young and deserving Filipino Artist;
To foster cultural interaction and exchanges with the local regions and other countries.
Copyright 2013 Kulay-Diwa Gallery of Philippine Contemporary Art. All rights reserved.
Intellectual Property Philippines Reg. no. 4-2010-990154
DTI Reg. no. 01166724
Managing Director: Roberto San Agustin Nolasco
Contact person: Bobbit