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Christopher Pelley:Teng YaHong The Source of Life

[2015-8-22 8:39:27]

Christopher Pelley:Teng YaHong The Source of Life (Root)


Looking at the paintings in Teng YaHong’s exhibition, one feels transported to some woody bower or dark thicket.  Tree roots struggle to crack open and penetrate rocks.  Branches crisscross.  The view is always towards the earth as if there is fear of tripping over some errant root obstructing the path.  There is a sense of dappled shade.  One notes a kindred spirit with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in these works.  The P.R.B. were a group of painters who in England of the 1850’s set out to revolutionize painting and return it to a strength and purity that existed before the time of Raphael (1483 - 1520).  They were interested in portraying an erratic nature, often untamed, with a reckless abandon that had been squeezed out of existence by the academic tradition.  Often times they painted out of doors, taking inspiration directly from visual observation, as does YaHong.

But first looks can sometimes be deceiving.  Teng’s color doesn’t quite jive with the scene.  Where one would believe in greens and browns  to propel this subject matter, there is a preponderance of turquoise blues and reds.  The off key chroma suggests more bowels and entrails than nature trail.  In Number 2 small disassociated branches are tubular and smooth, glistening slightly upon a purplish ground like some left over from an anatomical dissection.  There is a slightly visceral quality to the paint.  Thin layers of color often times dispersed by splashes of paint thinner are overlaid with luscious strokes of pink, turquoise and flecks of white following the contours. The works in this series of paintings become a Rorschach test of the viewers psyche.  Do the small splotches of dispersed paint read as lichens on tree bark, or corpuscles floating in arteries?  

Nature is not whole, here.  The branches end abruptly.  They are not broken as if by wind or storm, but are cut with the precision of a chain saw, their circular terminations projecting into the void.  Number 65 shows us a tree stump, its entwining roots and branches ending short, isolating it on the canvas.  But the turquoise color also suggests an organ surgically removed, awaiting for transplant and oxygenation to turn the blue back to red.

Teng subtitled this exhibition “Roots” and that suggests how the works are to be viewed.   We revel in her view of nature, the colors that are more felt than seen, and we give pause to ponder how we treat the roots under our feet.  These paintings have the outward appearance of being part of the western pictorial tradition, but they are distinctly Chinese.  The roots of YaHong’s work are deeply grounded in the history of ink painting where depth is not suggested  by shadows as in the western tradition. Su Shi and Mi Fu, scholars during the Northern Song Dynasty, expressed disdain for techniques that stressed dimension, depth and proportion.  Ideal painting instead should transform feeling and mood into visual data and Teng accomplishes that task.

Teng YaHong’s view of nature, like her color sense, is deeply personal.  She shares  her view of the world around us which even though grossly abused, still pulsates with vital energy.  For all the cut and wounds and hurt, there appears in  Number 30, one small lone branch of new foliage giving us hope for the future.

Christopher Pelley

Beijing 2015


"Source of life" Installation Exhibition by Teng Yahong in Shangyuan Art Museum




2010年     生活居住于成都

2015年     入住北京上苑艺术馆(2015国际创作计划)

2015年     加入中国意象油画研究会(会员)





2011年7月    成都“新锐80#90”         群展        

2012年       成都当代艺术群展“开仓纳粮”   群展

2013年5月    成都“意境龙泉”        邀请展

2013年       成都“和光·青年对话”   邀请展

2014年       成都“回望桃花源”      邀请展

2014年5月    成都“意境龙泉Ⅱ”     邀请展

2014年       昆明蓝谷创意基地“艺系鲁甸—昆明艺术家公益义卖活动”   公益展

2014年       北京"致敬--青春"全国青年精英艺术家特展      邀请展  

2014年       成都“以小见大”                            邀请展

2014年       成都“超越的力量”                          邀请展

2015年       成都“棱角——四人联展”

2015年       成都“回望桃花源Ⅱ”                        邀请展

2015年       北京上苑艺术馆“亮相”                      入馆展

2015年       成都“意境龙泉Ⅲ”                         邀请展

2015年      北京“第三届V时代青年艺术展”              邀请展  




















在这花花世界里,花美,它让人看得眼花缭乱。而它塑造的果实菜籽同我们一些艺术家的生活处境也是一样的 ——它们往往被埋没了。










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International Network of Literature and ArtINLA

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Website: http://www.inlac.cc/


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