The title “Twin Tracks,” originating in a Chinese proverb, usually refers to the difficulty of reaching a goal when one is heading in the wrong direction. Yang Fudong’s exhibition guides the audience through separate exhibition spaces in a specific order, allowing perceptions to gradually accumulate.
On the first floor, Blue Kylin / A Journal of Shandong (2008) presents a visual record of rocks being blown up in the mountains, workers carving statues out of stones, and scenes from daily life in the city where the quarry is located. In this exhibition, the installation’s video channels are distributed evenly in a rectangular space; by surrounding the viewer, the film allows the audience to both feel immersed in space and face the film directly, enhancing the realist quality of the work.
Exhibited in China for the first time, The Colored Sky: New Women II (2014) is a sequel to the previous work New Women (2013). In New Women, changes in the women’s emotions are subtly revealed through reticent and mysterious backward glances. Female figures in the sequel cry out in the rain, and fearlessly play with snakes, pulling the otherworldly fairyland of New Women back towards reality. Images transform rhythmically, with a musical quality. Walls of different colors fusing with light emitted from the monitors interact with transparent, candy-like blocks of color on the screens—a spatial technique that extends the image beyond its frame.
The last room, the only brightly lit environment of the exhibition, houses About the Unknown Girl: Ma Sise (2013-2015), a multimedia installation that showcases films and photographs of an actress who has appeared in several works by the artist, captured in her daily life and at work—a life in physical and psychological spaces. Projected on the last wall of the space, a video of Ma walking on the street with a colleague ingeniously draws the exhibition to a close, guiding the audience back to reality.
Translated by Alvin Li
Yuz Museum, Shanghai