ART LABOR Gallery, Shanghai, is once again very pleased to present the amazing gongbi ink paintings of Chinese artist Ying Yefu, in the sequel exhibition to last year’s sell out show “So You Look Like You Got What It Takes”. With this fresh exhibition he continues along similar themes, further exploring the practice of kungfu and wuxia culture and its relationship with the laobaixing, or average man, and how this applies to China’s recent regeneration as a successful nation state.
Ying Yefu continues his portraiture of these kungfu practitioners, showing them in poses and costumes reminiscent of a more physical time. One could say that their tough stances and fierce expressions seem slightly overboard, an extreme that seems unnecessary in this more diplomatic age. He counters these menacing paintings with more comical versions of the same, softening the facial design into a Japanese manga style. As always, Ying Yefu’s paintings are an assemblage of subtly drawn lines and delicate ink wash that shout out the contradictions inherent in today’s society, his unmatched illustrative skill amply demonstrated, expressing a myriad of possible meanings.
Ying Yefu is a self-professed "art worker” based in Xi’an, who has practiced the fine art of gongbi painting, along with printmaking, illustration and product design for more than a decade. His works have been collected world wide, including two large pieces acquired by the White Rabbit Gallery in Sydney, Australia in 2014. There are few artists in China today who match his ability to express complex themes in straightforward and uniquely singular designswith extraordinarily detailed ink drawing and painting.
ART LABOR Gallery is a contemporary gallery based in Shanghai since 2006. Winner of Time Out magazine’s people choice award for best gallery in Shanghai in 2014, the gallery has always strove to find unique artists, both emerging and established, from both China and around the globe.