Yun-Fei Ji, an internationally famous artist -- who recently produced a scroll for a group exhibition concentrating on narrative at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York -- is a Chinese-American artist who revivifies brush-and-ink painting methods typically associated with earlier periods of Chinese art including literati landscape painting of the Song Dynasty. Using such traditional methods, Ji delves into contemporary global events in which issues of environmental crisis, geographical displacement, and the re-making of place come into especially sharp focus. As part of the Hilliard exhibition, in addition to signature works by Ji we will be displaying for the very first time a suite of paintings and sketches that specifically depict and delve into the devastation surrounding Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana. This project represents his first solo exhibition in Louisiana. In 2014, Ji exhibited at the Contemporary Art Center (CAC), as part of the Prospect 3 New Orleans biennial.
In addition to some of the artist’s most iconic works deploying mineral inks and xuan paper and recent prints and lithographs, Yun-Fei Ji: Looking for Lehman Brothers will display as a coherent group for the first time a suite of paintings and sketches that grapple, retrospectively, with the devastation and aftereffects of Hurricane Katrina: made in 2008, these last works by Ji establish parallels between the scope of the financial collapse of 2008 and that of Katrina three years earlier, with the focus persistently falling on the effects such large-scale and ultimately global crises have on the lives of ordinary people.
Yun-Fei Ji: Looking for Lehman Brothers and Sandra Eula Lee: Make of / Make do was guest curated by Dr. Christopher Bennett, UL Art History professor in the Department of Visual Art. It is generously supported by the College of the Arts at the University of Louisiana a Lafayette.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website
Whether you go or not, this monograph, Yun-Fei Ji: The Intimate Universe, features this Beijing-born artist's acclaimed scrolls, sculptures, and drawings. In his stunning impressionistic works, Yun-Fei Ji takes on the thousand-year-old practice of Chinese scroll painting, employing ink on paper as his primary medium, and landscape as his central subject. Rather than adopting the idealism characteristic of traditional scroll painting, Ji presents the gritty reality of life in contemporary China. In this comprehensive monograph, Ji’s works bridge the gap between modernity and tradition. Essays explore themes of community, dislocation, and environmental degradation as well as Chinese folklore and its rapid decline in his native country’s culture.