Capsule Shanghai is delighted to host "Summer Mist", the first solo exhibition of Yan Xinyue, featuring her paintings from the past two years. The exhibition opens on August 12, 2020.

 

Yan graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Art Antwerp (Belgium) with a MFA in painting in 2018. Having grown up in Guangzhou and currently based in Shanghai, she draws inspiration from her experiences with and observations of rapidly developing urbanization, and infuses vignettes of city life with a dose of romance and playfulness.

 

  • Yan Xinyue | Video Interview

  • Yan Xinyue 闫欣悦, Hold On #1 依依不舍#1, 2019

    Yan Xinyue 闫欣悦

    Hold On #1 依依不舍#1, 2019

    "Often, my work shows people carrying umbrellas or walking together… They seem to share some very intimate stories, and you cannot tell whether they are colleagues, or friends, or lovers." – Yan Xinyue

  • Yan Xinyue 闫欣悦, The Sophisticated Home 精致的家, 2020

    Yan Xinyue 闫欣悦

    The Sophisticated Home 精致的家, 2020

    The Sophisticated Home is an ingenious epitome of Yan's past experience of migrating between cities and nations. Inspired by a series of sculptures featuring suitcases and female travelers by the Berlin-based artist Anna Uddenberg, the painting ­– slightly ironic and utterly human – offers a peep into the life of (what seems to be) a stylish young woman who strives to maintain a nomadic yet refined lifestyle.

  • Pertinently titled "Summer Mist", the exhibition features a group of new works in which Yan has painted lifelike waterdrops in the foreground, creating the illusion of an invisible pane of glass between the viewer and the subjects. There is naturally an innate intimacy in the action of sharing an umbrella or a bike. The subjects, shrouded in a tranquility of blue, seem to share a relationship as misty as the rainy summer in Shanghai.

     

    On the other hand, while Sisyphus in 2020 wittily points out the irony in contemporary work culture, Final Warfare is charged with sensual energy and intense emotions. A halo of aurora-like green light surrounds the galloping horse, while the female nude falls down onto the soft lush meadow. The painting seems to have captured - or more accurately, invented - a moment from an ancient myth.

    • Yan Xinyue 闫欣悦, Hold On #3 依依不舍#3, 2020
      Yan Xinyue 闫欣悦, Hold On #3 依依不舍#3, 2020
    • Yan Xinyue 闫欣悦, Hold On #4 依依不舍#4, 2020
      Yan Xinyue 闫欣悦, Hold On #4 依依不舍#4, 2020
    • Yan Xinyue 闫欣悦, Sisyphus in 2020 西西弗里在2020, 2020
      Yan Xinyue 闫欣悦, Sisyphus in 2020 西西弗里在2020, 2020
    • Yan Xinyue 闫欣悦, Final Warfare 最后的冲突, 2020
      Yan Xinyue 闫欣悦, Final Warfare 最后的冲突, 2020
  • "My work has a lot of playfulness and humor…

    … but on the other hand it is pretty matched with the experience we have been through this year." -- Yan Xinyue
  • Yan Xinyue 闫欣悦, Glasses Crisis 杯子危机, 2020

    Yan Xinyue 闫欣悦

    GLASSES CRISIS 杯子危机, 2020

    In Glasses Crisis, the radiant lemony yellow raises attention even before the viewer follows the vertical brushstrokes in the background and lays eyes on the falling glasses. The painting is charged with tension as the artist has made the clever decision to capture the unnerving moment right before actual damage transpires. The abrupt sound of smashing glasses is about to halt the moment of pleasure and enjoyment like an omen of our times.

  • Yan Xinyue's paintings, rooted in her imagination and reproduction of urban life, blend observation with memory and fiction, and reflect the artist's Proustian way of thinking and the complexity of reality and human emotions. Noteworthy is Yan's highly stylized treatment of edges and background. Fluxes of saturated colors render the image with a psychedelic sense of motion; the subject shades onto the background - lines and edges are blurred using different techniques of brushing, highlighting, overlay and dripping - shrouding the canvas with an obscure and mysterious haze, and taking on an aura unreplicable in the electronic age.

    • Yan Xinyue 闫欣悦, “Mother” (Edmund in Cormio) “妈妈”(穿着科尔米奥的埃德蒙), 2020
      Yan Xinyue 闫欣悦, “Mother” (Edmund in Cormio) “妈妈”(穿着科尔米奥的埃德蒙), 2020
    • Yan Xinyue 闫欣悦, Admire 爱慕, 2020
      Yan Xinyue 闫欣悦, Admire 爱慕, 2020
    • Yan Xinyue 闫欣悦, The Souvenir #1 纪念品#1, 2020
      Yan Xinyue 闫欣悦, The Souvenir #1 纪念品#1, 2020
  • Yan Xinyue 闫欣悦, Late Night Out #2 披星戴月#2, 2020

    Yan Xinyue 闫欣悦

    Late Night Out #2 披星戴月#2

    Despite the absence of representational depictions of cityscapes, the works are immediately recognizable - even relatable - for city dwellers. Who has not daydreamt of flying away from the work place in the middle of a seemingly endless mind-numbing meeting? In Late Night Out #2, suit-wearing office workers strap on a pair of butterfly wings and ascend into a dream-like void. Yet under the surface of delightful imagination and humor underlies tension between ideals and reality, societal expectations and individuality. The thorn-shaped pattern in bright green that frames the figures - inspired by tattoos, a trending form of self-expression - is a lucid cautionary reminder of the edge of dreams and the limit of romantic imagination.

  • In the adjacent corner of the room, the wall drawing of a ravenous spider lurking on its meticulously weaved web presents further threat to the butterfly-men and -women. The word "2020" in the drawing seems to tie the sense of danger and crisis to the challenges that the world is facing this year.

  • The three paintings of mutilated motorbikes in the same room depict scenes of dreadful accidents. As the titles of the works suggest, they are indeed heartbreaking still moments due in part to vivid anthropomorphisms of the vehicles. However, like in most of Yan's paintings in the exhibition, tragedy is veiled under a mask of humor and liveliness with vibrant colors, a banana peel, and twinkling sparks as often seen in children's drawings.

    • Yan Xinyue 闫欣悦, Heartbroken Motorbike #1 伤心摩托车#1, 2020
      Yan Xinyue 闫欣悦, Heartbroken Motorbike #1 伤心摩托车#1, 2020
    • Yan Xinyue 闫欣悦, Heartbroken Motorbike #2 伤心摩托车#2, 2020
      Yan Xinyue 闫欣悦, Heartbroken Motorbike #2 伤心摩托车#2, 2020
    • Yan Xinyue 闫欣悦, Heartbroken Motorbike #3 伤心摩托车#3, 2020
      Yan Xinyue 闫欣悦, Heartbroken Motorbike #3 伤心摩托车#3, 2020
  • PRESS & MORE ABOUT THE ARTIST