HONG KONG - When the craze of cartoon art swept across the canvases of her contemporaries, the quiet, reserved Song Yige stood outside the trend’s perimeters, choosing instead to largely portray everyday objects in her art, meticulously, quietly. Yet an element of fantasy was always floating below the surface, an air of loneliness spreading across the canvas. Song has explained that her works come from the various stages of her life and are, in a sense, autobiographical.
Song Yige's A Crane and A Boy, 2013.
Born in 1980, Song was a reclusive child, and her parents were often absent. Song’s only interest was drawing. She says, “All children love sweets, but I’d give up sweets for watercolor brushes and drawing papers.”
In a testament to her talent and determination, the young, confident Song was accepted into Shenyang’s Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts and graduated in 2007 from the department of oil painting. Soon afterwards, she came to Beijing in pursuit of her artistic ideals, and began incubating ideas for her career as an independent artist. Song explains, “Sometimes creating art is a delight, sometimes it’s tough. Being able to successfully manage an artwork to completion is such a joy.”
Song Yige's They, 2014.
In 2010, Song launched her first solo exhibition in Beijing, with world-renowned artist Zeng Fanzhi as the curator. Zeng says, “Today, many artists create works that you only need to look at once. But Song Yige’s works, after three, four times, you still want to look at them.” He expressed a deep appreciation for the young artist, volunteering to curate her exhibition, a gesture for which Song remains in deep gratitude.
Song Yige's Big Fish, 2013.
Today, Sotheby’s Hong Kong Gallery is featuring over twenty new pieces by Song, pieces in which her artistic language has attained an even higher level of sophistication. For example, in A Crane and a Boy, the crane exudes an aura of nobility and stateliness, with no hint of gaudiness nor frailty, the bird’s demeanor resembling that of a transcendent being. The youth is not given distinct gender characteristics, symbolizing the absence of desirousness, representing man’s purest state. Through these two figures, the artist creates a metaphor for the silent coexistence between man’s original self and the gods. Other works by the artist similarly reflect a dreamlike, divine light. Quietly they await an encounter with a kindred spirit.
Song Yige: Another Dimension will be on view at Sotheby's Hong Kong from 9 May-18 May.