I have no religious beliefs, but I am interested in potential rituals that may be generated in the religious realm. I introduce these ritual elements into the unknown world that we cannot grasp. Religious belief and rituals belong to the same system: they coexist, they both carry a spiritual character. Rituals do not belong to the realm of what we are familiar with; many rituals are associated with nature, they don’t belong to the realm of human consciousness and experience, they are not subject to regular logic. For example, in the process of pouring a glass of water, at a certain undefined moment, the ritual takes place: at that moment, all the elements are in the right place. I reinterpret these fragmentary ritual moments and I give them a new meaning and connotation. In different series of works, I apply different techniques, but all my works have an element in common: they embody the time and character of the ritual.
-- Guo Yaguan
We call him “Old Guo” or “Boss Guo”, with the black shirt and the ponytail, Boss Guo appears on the scene with a domineering attitude, like the characters in the Hong Kong Mafia Movies in the 1980s.
郭亚冠《你的方舟停在我某个不知名的梦里》系列2；纸本丙烯；77 x 57cm; 2016
Guo Yaguan Your Ark is Parked in One of My Unknown Dreams, Series 2 ; Acrylic on paper, 77 x 57cm, 2016
The inspiration for Guo’s work Your Ark is Parked in One of My Unknown Dreams presented in the exhibition, comes from Tengchong in Yunan Province. Guo says: “Tengchong is a magical place where you can daydream: it is a peculiar environment that nurtures fantasy and imagination. Although it is located in the southwest corner of China, in winter it is hit by the chilly wind from the north”. The heavy snow of the past 50 years did not reach his knees. Luckily the snow did not influence the lively environment of the lake. Sometimes the reeds rustle in the wind with birds flying around.
郭亚冠《你的方舟停在我某个不知名的梦里》系列8；纸本丙烯；77 x 57cm; 2016
Guo Yaguan Your Ark is Parked in One of My Unknown Dreams, Series 8 ; Acrylic on paper, 77 x 57cm, 2016
Guo incorporates the poem into his painting, and he proposes a naturalized interpretation rituals. In his work Ritual Thinking, when Mario Perniola talks about "the ritual without myth", he actually refers to the "ritual of ritual", which means that the behavioral procedures and formulas that occur during a ritual are not subject to the purpose and function of the ritual itself, as it was in the past. On the contrary, they become habits and way of thinking. His works are inspired by actual events and experiences; the existence of rituals dispels the narrative and the realistic elements while becoming the "myth" of modern society.
The perfect balance between reality and illusion on the water surface was quickly broken by a group of ducks. What often makes me intoxicated is that this projection, which is more beautiful than the actual scenery, is inadvertently broken by a random thing, which is more of a kind of cleansing. Anything that stays in the same state for too long will be inevitably reshuffled. The process of reducing it to chaos is also the rescue. The things in the mirror are complete imitations of reality. A gust of wind, a fish or a duck can awaken these shadows that are chained mirrors. The dancing reflections in the water finally remove the shackles of their bodies. And I was sure that I saw their dances.
郭亚冠《你的方舟停在我某个不知名的梦里》系列1；纸本丙烯；77 x 57cm; 2016
Guo Yaguan Your Ark is Parked in One of My Unknown Dreams, Series 1 ; Acrylic on paper, 77 x 57cm, 2016
Your painting encompasses a broad artistic realm and has many cultural connotations. What should be stressed is that the visual impact of your work comes from something that is beyond the familiar images presented by the whole work as well as its details, which is rare in our school. On the contrary, what people is comfortable and used to look at is considered to be lousy cliches. The visual impact of your works is usually accompanied by "weird" artistic representations and connotations that create a narrative structure. In this way, your work becomes an attractive and at the same time bewildering novel.
(Central Academy of Fine Arts, Dean of Fine Arts School, Professor of Oil Painting Department)
Guo Yaguan Your Ark is Parked in One of My Unknown Dreams, Series 1; detail
Picking up leaves in the harvest season of Tengchong, Guo gives new life to the leaves in his artworks: they sometimes become titan trees, sometimes become a paradise for children, sometimes hitch a long balloon which flying over the mountains. Guo uses different materials to decorate the night forests combining the formal elements of the painting with the content, disclosing a flush or warm blood.
Guo Yaguan at Tengchong, 2016
The salmon going to the sea
the turtles weep in Galapagos
the footprints of the fairy quivers in the Namib Desert
the parrot fly over the Costa Rican forests
I am willing to become
the company of the turtle
the ant at the foot of the fairy
the plume of the bird
the immigration of the salmon
away from the crowd
the sunset on March 15, 2016
the last drop of sweat when I was awake.
through the glass entrenched by sweat
place far away
Mar 2016; Guo Yaguan, Teng Chong
Artist: Guo Yaguan
Born in Shandong Province, living and working in Beijing
Graduated from the fourth studio of the Oil Painting Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, with the master degree.
The exhibition "Explorer Preface" is currently on. It will bring you into a mysterious space-time tunnel to explore more untold stories. We are pleased to invite you to share your insights on this exhibition.
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