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Des Moines Art Center Presents Yan Pei-Ming: Life Souvenir
DES MOINES, IA.- The Des Moines Art Center presents Yan Pei-Ming: Life Souvenir, on view through January 4, 2009. Yan Pei-Ming’s large-scale, monochromatic paintings demand notice. Like boisterous children, they engage audiences with their energy, impact, and size. Yan’s vibrant and fluid canvases and watercolors merge traditional Chinese visual traditions with elements of Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. Twenty paintings comprise Life Souvenir, continuing Yan Pei-Ming’s career-long interest in memory, incorruptibility, and, above all else, human emotion. Large canvases presenting nameless soldiers face sizeable watercolors on the opposite wall depicting anonymous infants. The soldiers are painted in black and shades of grey, while the infants are painted in red. Each of these colors holds symbolic meaning in Chinese tradition: white is the color of death and dying, while black celebrates life and symbolizes “real innocence” to the artist. Red is the color of purity and virtue, a fitting parallel to the depiction of children. This exhibition is accompanied by a full-color catalogue with essays by Art Center Director Jeff Fleming and Mami Kataoka, senior curator, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan.



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