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IT TAKES A LIFETIME TO BECOME YOUNG by Yan Pei-Ming

PRESENTED BY MASSIMO DE CARLO GALLERY HONG KONG

Today marks the opening of Massimo De Carlo’s first Asian space. Located in Hong Kong’s Pedder Building, the gallery is inaugurated with a solo show by the Chinese artist, based in France, Yan Pei-Ming, with whom Massimo De Carlo has collaborated for almost 20 years, since 1998. Entitled ‘It Takes a Lifetime to Become Young’, the exhibition will run from 21 March – 22 May 2016.

Massimo De Carlo gallery in Pedder Building, Hong Kong

Massimo De Carlo gallery in Pedder Building, Hong Kong

Massimo De Carlo gallery in Pedder Building, Hong Kong

Massimo De Carlo gallery in Pedder Building, Hong Kong

Yan Pei-Ming grew up during the Cultural Revolution in China and left Shanghai for France in 1980, where he studied at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Dijon. During the last 30 years he established himself as one of the most prominent artists, renowned for his impressive size portraits of key power figures from both the East and the West, from Mao Zedong and Barack Obama to Marylin Monroe and Alexander McQueen.

 

“I am honoured to be a part of the Massimo De Carlo Hong Kong gallery opening. Massimo is a dear friend and has always been very supportive of my career. ‘It Takes a Lifetime to Become Young’ is a new body of work featuring the masters that inspire me, including Pablo Picasso, Egon Schiele, Frida Kahlo, Willem de Kooning, Lucian Freud and Jackson Pollock. The painted portraits portray the early years of their lives, an intimate moment from childhood to adolescence, while capturing the mix of candour, melancholy, determination and ambition in their younger days, yet already on the path to greatness,” says Yan Pei-Ming.

Yan Pei-Ming portrait, Marie Clérin © Yan Pei-Ming, ADAGP, Paris, 2015

Yan Pei-Ming portrait, Marie Clérin
© Yan Pei-Ming, ADAGP, Paris, 2015

The exhibition is structured as a tangible retrospective of a coming of age tale about watching, nourishing, respect and inspiration. The title ‘It Takes A Lifetime to Become Young’ is a revealing quote by Pablo Picasso that embodies Yan Pei-Ming’s reflection on the relationship between time and practice, youth and adulthood, rites of passage and commitment.

 

Observation is key in this exhibition. Amongst this display of great masters of painting as their younger selves, the artist chooses to add one self-portrait depicting him as he is today: reflecting on how the children’s gestures and expression, gaze and attitude have influenced the gestures of these great painters-to-be and his own approach to the gesture itself.  By doing so, Yan Pei-Ming allows his admiration for the artist that nourished his formation to maintain the naivety and honesty of the first time he approached the painterly gesture.

Installation view of Yan Pei-Ming’s Young Andy Warhol. Top Left: Yan Pei-Ming Grey Young Andy Warhol, 2016, Ex. Unique, Oil on canvas 60 x 60 cm / 23 5/8 x 23 5/8 inches, Courtesy MDC Hong Kong Top Right: Yan Pei-Ming Pink Young Andy Warhol, 2016, Ex. Unique, Oil on canvas 60 x 60 cm / 23 5/8 x 23 5/8 inches, Courtesy MDC Hong Kong Bottom Left: Yan Pei-Ming Green and yellow Young Andy Warhol, 2016, Ex. Unique, Oil on canvas 60 x 60 cm / 23 5/8 x 23 5/8 inches, Courtesy MDC Hong Kong Bottom Right: Yan Pei-Ming Blue Young Andy Warhol, 2016, Ex. Unique, Oil on canvas 60 x 60 cm / 23 5/8 x 23 5/8 inches, Courtesy MDC Hong Kong

Installation view of Yan Pei-Ming’s Young Andy Warhol.
Top Left: Yan Pei-Ming Grey Young Andy Warhol, 2016, Ex. Unique, Oil on canvas
60 x 60 cm / 23 5/8 x 23 5/8 inches, Courtesy MDC Hong Kong
Top Right: Yan Pei-Ming Pink Young Andy Warhol, 2016, Ex. Unique, Oil on canvas
60 x 60 cm / 23 5/8 x 23 5/8 inches, Courtesy MDC Hong Kong
Bottom Left: Yan Pei-Ming Green and yellow Young Andy Warhol, 2016, Ex. Unique, Oil on canvas 60 x 60 cm / 23 5/8 x 23 5/8 inches, Courtesy MDC Hong Kong
Bottom Right: Yan Pei-Ming Blue Young Andy Warhol, 2016, Ex. Unique, Oil on canvas
60 x 60 cm / 23 5/8 x 23 5/8 inches, Courtesy MDC Hong Kong

Young Pablo Picasso triptych by Yan Pei-Ming. Yan Pei-Ming Blue, red and black Young Picasso, 2016, Ex. Unique, Oil on canvas 150 x 100 cm 59 x 39 inches, Courtesy MDC Hong Kong

Young Pablo Picasso triptych by Yan Pei-Ming.
Yan Pei-Ming Blue, red and black Young Picasso, 2016, Ex. Unique, Oil on canvas 150 x 100 cm
59 x 39 inches, Courtesy MDC Hong Kong

‘It Takes a Lifetime to Become Young’ is a statement: the history of painting is a continuous journey through time and temperaments, evidence and fiction, gesture and thought; with this exhibition Yan Pei-Ming enters, expands and helps to define the narrative around this medium.

‘It Takes a Lifetime to Become Young’ by Yan Pei- Ming will be exhibited from 21 March 2016 to 22 May 2016 at Massimo De Carlo Gallery in Hong Kong.

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