State of Yin's mind

Updated: 2015-07-07 08:30

By Lin Qi(China Daily)

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State of Yin's mind

Yin Zhaoyang's solo show in Beijing reflects his newfound vision. Highlights include Cold Forest and New Mountains and Sea Classics.[Photo provided to China Daily]

A Chinese artist puts his inner world on display through a series of sketches, Lin Qi reports.

As a representative of the post-1970 generation of Chinese artists, Yin Zhaoyang rose to stardom through his oil paintings that are characterized by some degree of pain from his youth.

Many of the 45-year-old painter's earlier works also reflect his anger at the world. But in the past few years, Yin has captured a lot of "thrilling moments" in his life on paper. And while he skips meticulous details in objects he sees, he uses charcoal to show the thoughts exploding in his cosmos.

Yin's first-ever exhibition dedicated to such sketches, titled Images on Paper, displays his series of drawings this year-Cold Forest and A Writer. The show is ongoing in Beijing.

In them, he doesn't seek to outline a perfect shape or vivid colors. Instead, he fills paper with intense ink lines. His charcoal strokes create the wrinkle-like effect on canvas that's normally associated with Chinese ink-and-water paintings. In addition, he heavily scars some drawings with knife cuts. The final texture manifests a mental aftermath of the tension and agony he has unleashed.

"Destroying is in another sense a way of creating," Yin says.

"But it's not a necessity. It matters whether the act of destroying makes sense to what one wants to express, whether it makes the work a breathtaking piece."

In his drawn works, Yin exposes the psychological complexities of people today and softens the anxiety of our times through primitive simplicity.

"Flipping through piles of drawings and watercolor works he created in different periods, I felt like I'm peeping into Yin's lesser-known world," says exhibition curator Fang Zhiling.

"He presents a self-corrected public image in his sizeable oil paintings, which touch serious social issues and emit astounding powers. While his works on paper-often completed within a few or a dozen minutes-show his carefree side in private."

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