“Truth in Distortion” marks French-based Chinese artist Cang Yuan’s first solo exhibition in Hong Kong. The artist’s goal to express the meaning of this world through painting is a timeless endeavor. To Cang Yuan, to express meaning is to first understand the tensions and variables that have shaped him – factors such as his Chinese heritage and his move to the West, the weighty emphasis on realism in the Soviet-style art education of his youth, and its clash with the contemporary art scenes in Paris. “Truth in Distortion” is a collection that explores the artist’s journey to resolve the contentions that he has felt in his artistic life, with the resolution that there is perhaps no inherent conflict between seemingly opposing dualities after all. For Cang, in abstraction there is reality, in distortion there is truth. Abstraction-whether in dramatization, reduction, exaggeration, distillation-is a form that allows the experience of life to be understood. Abstraction is but life’s complex hues on canvas.
Cang’s paintings reflect the influence of French painter Bernard Cathelin and Dutch-American expressionist Willem De Kooning. His inspiration is grounded in a sound understanding of Western art and philosophy, but is highly influenced by the profundity and abstruse quality of Chinese tradition and culture.
Date: 8 May (Friday) – 31 May (Sunday) 2020
Venue: Oi Ling Antiques
Address: 72 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong
Tickets: Free Admission
Cang Yuan Profile
Cang Yuan (born October 1979) holder of a Doctorate degree in arts, he studied at the School of Plastic Arts at Paris VIII University and then at the Ecole Supérieure Libre d’Art de Paris (ESLAP) where he obtained the National Diploma of Doctor in plastic art. Subsequently, he decided to remain and has worked at ESLAP after graduated.
Cang Yuan is a successful scholar specialized in the study of portraits of the British painter Francis Bacon (October 28, 1909 – April 28, 1992). He has also accomplished a series of research in philosophy, aesthetics, art history and oil painting.
In 2004, he was admitted to Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts and continued his studies under the direction of Mr. Zhang HuiMin, renowned professor of the oil painting department who was trained in France and Africa in his early years. After the graduation, he went to France for the study of the fine arts.
In 2008, he was admitted to the School of Plastic Arts at Paris VIII University and he continued his studies under the Dean of School, Professor François Jeune and Paul Renu. In 2010, Cang obtained the National Diploma of Doctors degree in plastic arts.
In June 2011, his own solo exhibition was held in his hometown, XiAn.
Throughout his studies at the School of Plastic Arts at Paris VIII University , Cang was deeply influenced by the British painter Francis Bacon. During this period, Cang traveled around, he then was impressed and touched by Courbet ‘s work which he found at the Montpellier Art Museum. In the context of Bacon’s and Courbet’s influence, he began to build an interest and focus on abstract painting as his new direction of creation. His oil paintings are created in a freehand visual effect.
In 2013, he obtained the Doctor’s degree in art at the Ecole Supérieure Libre d’Art de Paris (ESLAP). In the same year, he concluded the contract with the Rosengart Gallery in Switzerland.
In 2014, Cang started to build an interest in ink wash painting was obsessed with ink painting and had created many works inspired by Ink.
After a couple of years of efforts, Cang was appointed as the Executive Headmaster of ESLAP and directs the International Exchange Centre and the International Research Centre in 2015. During his tenure, he had lectured extensively at universities in China. He has also been nominated as a visiting professor at the School of Art and Design at Nanchang Aviation University in 2016.
In March 2018, he visited the art school of Taiyuan University of Technology with the delegation and gave a lecture at the school.
Cang’s journey in art creation is paved with his ceaseless self-discovery and self-denial. CANG was attracted to stay in Paris because it was the time where there was a furious competition amongst different kinds of contemporary art concepts. While Cang was enchanted by and enjoyed the charm of Paris and the vigor of its contemporary art, he found what he had learnt in China had become his burden for moving on. After a series of self-denial and his observation on the furious contemporary art in Paris, his art piece of that time was featured with elements of realism and his own sophisticated eastern aesthetics.
Cang loves poetry and music and those become the two indispensable elements in his artistic creation which the breadth, depth and tense are shown in his works. Art critic suggested Cang ‘s works as “another prime example of the richness and creativity on the exchange of Chinese culture and western cultures” and “masterly bridges the cultures of the East and West, perfectly showcased the sophistication of Chinese Aesthetics.”
Artistic research contributions
Since 2009, Cang Yuan has started to study and accomplished a series of research and notes of Bacon’s portraits and wrote the book, “The Comparative Study of Portraits of Francis Bacon” (in the process of publication).
In his book, Cang argues in an unprecedented way that, in search of darkness, contradiction, death, decay, fear and strong stimulation in his works, Francis Bacon transferred the feelings in his soul through his paintings, which is his own way to achieve the inner peace and serenity.
September 2009 Participation in the invitation exhibition for Young artists sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of France.
April 2010 Invitation exhibition of Young French Artists
October 2010 Participation at the Automne Salon d’automne in Paris.
November 2012 Conclusion of the contract with Rosengart Gallery in Switzerland
October 2013 Silver Award of the Exhibition of the European Academy of Contemporary Art
2014 American Miami International Art Fair
2014 Art Achievement Award of the National Academy of Contemporary Art Competition
2015 Morgan City Award, Exhibition of Contemporary Art in Cannes