Unbounded Redux – You Si


Through subtle mediation between shape, form and shade, You Si portrays different stages of one’s mental comprehension of the surrounding environment. His oeuvre explores two seemingly paradoxical possibilities. One is to make the classical medium of rice paper a poignant and active cultural expression again; the other is to compose visual images with methodology and language that are intimate to our immediate reality. What is clear is that his paintings seem to always grow more enigmatic over time.

At first glance one may wonder about the “meaning” or “subject matter” of his large, energetic, and macrobiotic images. One may wonder, how can a group of paintings be so sensitively intoned with our time yet manage to stay timeless simultaneously? One may read his creations as either landscapes depicting the natural world or some genetic nightmare-ish mega-organism. As you return to visit the paintings for a second time you begin to question “why?” The fundamental reason is for us to immerse into that multi-dimensional universe that he created and to get lost in his virtual infinity.

You Si’s art is boundless both in meaning and in visual presentation. Whether interpreted as mysteriously picturesque or strangely microscopic, his paintings dictate a critical two-dimensional device; the edge sensitively painted with ink and water on rice paper. This edge defines every organism, shape or colouration. And every edge or boundary represents allegorically an abstract event or experience in life.

Nonetheless, the very possibility of embodying boundlessness is based on his manipulation of boundary, edge and separation. The most intriguing feature is his dealing with negative space. It is no longer about the construction of the depth or structure of each composition. It is about possibilities; the very essence of life, change and evolution is defined by that rather ambiguous, elusive and uncertain space.

As the mainstream of the Chinese contemporary art scene increasingly gears towards a speedy path to address the global reality of the local condition, You Si’s artwork raises a number of provocative questions. For example, in an era when contemporary art becomes the “foyer display” of the corporate world and creativity is the ultimate commodity, can art still have spiritual engagement and metaphysical significance? Can the Artist and Art Work maintain a personal integrity and individual authenticity? Is it still possible for us to redefine a classical medium such as “ink on paper” and historical forms such as “abstract art”?

Solo Exhibitions:
Yousi’s Whimsy, United Art Space, Shanghai (2015)
Spring, The 19th China (Shanghai) International Boat Show, Shanghai (2014)
Unbounded diffusion, ART LABOR Gallery Shanghai (2010-2011)
You Si, Michael Goedhuis, New York (2009-2010)
UNBOUNDED REDUX Solo, Shanghai Sculpture Space Shanghai, (2008)
UNBOUNDED Solo Show, ART LABOR Gallery, Shanghai (2007)
New Paintings: Ink on Paper, Abraham Lubeiski Gallery, New York (2000)
You Si: Paintings, Chinese Culture Institute, Boston (1994)
Beijing Young Artists Exhibition to New York and Boston, multiple venues, USA (1988-1989)
An Exhibition of Painting by You Si, Holdswoth Contemporary Art Gallery, Sydney (1988)
Splash Paintings, East & West Art Gallery, Melbourne (1988)
Contemporary Chinese Ink and Wash, Swedish Embassy, Beijing (1987)

Group Exhibitions:
Korea Gwangju Museum of Art Artists Residency Group Exhibition, Gwangju Museum of Art, Himalayas Museum, China & Korea (2015)
The ACC Art ·Ecological·Observation Exhibition Tour, Rongqiao Art Center Fujian (2014)
The ACC Art ·Ecological·Observation Exhibition Tour, Jinling Art Museum. Nanjing (2014)
The ACC Art ·Ecological·Observation Exhibition Tour, Today Art Museum Beijing (2014)
Contemporary Chinese Ink Art Since 1980s, The Chongqing Museum of Art Shanghai (2014)
Contemporary Chinese Ink Art Since 1980s, Shanghai Himalayas Museum,
Shanghai (2014)
A Fragment in the Course of Time – Landscape of Chinese Ink Art in 1980s, Himalayas Museum, Shanghai (2014)
Serve the People, White Rabbit Gallery, Sydney (2013-2014)
XUAN, ETC, Shanghai Gallery of Art, Shanghai (2011)
Surfacing, Shanghai Gallery of Art, Shanghai (2008-2009)
Group Exhibition of Contemporary Artists, Toomey-Tourell Fine Art, San Francisco (2008-2009)
Sea Level: Painting and Sculpture, Shanghai, Liu Hai Su Art Museum, Shanghai (2008)
Continuance of Material Links, TECHNOPOLIS, Athens (2008)
Continuance of Material Links, CACT, Thessaloniki, Saloniki (2008)
Group Show, East Link Gallery, Shanghai (2008)
Material Links, Shanghai MOCA, Shanghai (2008)
Vacation Nation, Pierogi Gallery, New York (2004)
The Best of Brooklyn Comes to Boston, Bernard Toale Gallery “Pierogi Presents”, Boston (2003)
Boiled and Fried, Pierogi Gallery, New York (2002)
International Ink-wash Painting Exhibition, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai (2001)
Big Apple Chinese Painting, Kalkodo Gallery, New York (2000)
Overseas Artists Exhibition, Hong Kong City University, Hong Kong (1997)
Contemporary Chinese Painting, Manhattan East Gallery of Fine Arts, New York (1989)
Contemporary Chinese Ink and Wash, Beijing University and Qinghua University, Beijing (1986)
Contemporary Ink Painting, Beijing Astronomical Observatory Beijing (1985)

Melbourne National Museum (Australia)
Newsweek Office (Beijing)
Swedish Embassy (Beijing)
White Rabbit Gallery (Australia)
Origle Family Foundation(Switzerland)

Private collections:
Ilya Lugatenko Collection
Spanish Royal Family
Hollywood Movie Star
News Corporation Executives
HSBC Executives



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