News Releases -- Uncertain Pleasures

March 11, 1997


Vancouver, B.C. -- Art Beatus is honoured to present a multi media exhibition entitled Uncertain Pleasure-- Chinese Artists in the 1990s, curated by Mr. Hou Hanru of Paris. The exhibition opens on April 11.

The show is an unusual combination of installations, sculptures and paintings by eight artists, all with Chinese roots. Four of them live in Paris, three live in China and one in Vancouver. The show reflects the tumult and complexity they see in today's uncertain world and artistic strategies to confront it. The artists included in this exhibition are: Sam Lam, Feng Meng Bo, Shen Yuan, Wang Du, Yan Pei Ming, Yang Jie Chang, Zhang Pei Li, and Zhu Jia.

The exhibition's name, Uncertain Pleasure, is taken from the work of one of the artists, Zhang Peili. With obsessed gaze and scrutiny on the body's unconscious gestures, his video installations reveal the state of mind of Chinese people today who are experiencing radical and uncertain social and cultural transition. The work reflects also universal changes in the contemporary world in the time of globalisation. It is a common experience of pleasure for all of us to take the challenge of confronting such an uncertainty.

The Vancouver artist in this show is Sam Lam. Behind his interest in Ancient Greek and Renaissance art and culture, he has developed a whole metaphoric strategy to express his appeal for alternative sexual life as a resistance to the hegemony of the established discourses about sexuality.

Artist Feng Mengbo uses CD-ROM as the medium to document his family's history as a part of Chinese histories to create a new form of contemporary history. His successful use of new technology and emphasis on the interactivity of the computer language open up a new space for artistic innovation and cultural reflections in the time of information.

Shen Yuan, a Chinese woman artist living Paris, utilizes everyday life materials and objects, especially those represent the role of woman, to evoke the question of the existence and language of woman, especially immigrant woman, in a male-centric world.

Wang Du creates coloured sculptures of personalities extracted from newspapers, magazines and advertisements. The ironically neutral statues are actually effective critiques of the power of the mass media as a symptom of our contemporary culture.

Yan Pei Ming's violent action paintings, mainly portraits, bring the worlds of memory, imagination and reality together. In the rage of the actions and the collision of images, he provokes polemics and deconstruction of the established ideas of identity and cultural power.

Yang Jie Chang's paintings, using Chinese materials such as ink and rice paper, encourage the viewers to participate in a process of enlightenment through physical and psychological violence. Influenced by Zen and Taoist ideas, he deliberately questions the reason of human existence.

Living in Beijing, the capital of the rapidly shifting China, Zhu Jia focuses his work on the transitional reality with a critical regard. He uses a high 8 camera attached to a tricycle wheel to record a 60 minute journey rolling through the streets of Beijing. The spiral spinning images are the strongest reflection of the uncertainty of reality.

Three of the eight artists together with the curator will be in Vancouver for the opening and will be available for interviews.

Art Beatus, with galleries in Vancouver, Canada and Hong Kong, focuses on international contemporary Chinese art. The Vancouver gallery is on the upper plaza at 888 Nelson Street.

For further information, please contact:

Canada: tel: (1) 604.688.2633, fax: (1) 604.688.2685