Yu Youhan first dabbled with Political Pop in 1988. About a decade later, he created Ah, Us! Series and the group was displayed at a solo exhibition in Shanghai in 1999. Ah, Us! Series is a rare expression of the artist's own ethnic and cultural roots, extending far beyond the cultish iconography of Mao, transcending the realm of politics and arriving at a sentimental affection for his nation and his race.
In this solo exhibition, he presented an imagery that was manifested through a stream of consciousness, "It doesn't matter whether or not my eyes are open or shut, all I see are people, our Chinese people. I am also Chinese. I am one of them...Toward them, I experience both hate and love. It is they, no, I should say it is we who continually occupy my heart, my mind, and my eyes. Except for 'We', what else should I be concerned about?...We know only that we are living. We ought to be living. It is possible for us to be living. Given our past, given our present, we can surely live up to the future. As long as we are still capable of learning, we can certainly live better in the future."
Ah, Us! Series (Lot 1038) conflates iconography from all periods of China—there are terracotta warriors, there are women dressed in traditional tangzhuang or wearing modern-day sashes, a little girl with a flower in her hair and on the phone...this is Yu Youhan's handpicked collage of the many faces of Chinese people. The countenances and the bodies of the figures are nebulous, set against a backdrop of brown, conveying an aura of history as well as proffering the artist's own footnotes on this history. Ah, Us! Series is a preamble to the artist's eventual divergence into landscape and return to abstraction; it is also the most grandiose display of figurative painting since his 1988 turn into Political Pop.
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.