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Des Moines Art Center Presents Yan Pei-Ming: Life Souvenir
Yan Pei-Ming (Chinese, born 1960), New Born, New Life, Watercolor on paper, 60 ½ x 90 ½ inches, Courtesy of the artist, David Zwirner Gallery, New York, and Galleria Massimo De Carlo, Milan, Italy. Photo by André Morin, © Yan Pei-Ming.
DES MOINES, IA.- The Des Moines Art Center (4700 Grand Avenue) presents today the first one-person museum exhibition in the United States for the Chinese artist Yan Pei-Ming. Yan is considered one of the foremost Chinese artists working today, creating large, vibrant, expressionistic paintings and watercolors. Born in China in 1960, Yan divides his time between his studio in Shanghai, and studios in Paris and Dijon, France. His work demonstrates these multi-cultural experiences as he successfully merges Chinese visual traditions with contemporary Western formal approaches. Sparse and concise pictorial arrangements mingle with Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art formats creating a bridge between Eastern and Western conventions and imagery. A new body of oil paintings on canvas and watercolors on paper will have been created especially for the show.

Life Souvenir presents images of infants and soldiers, continuing Yan’s investigation into such vague concepts as human innocence and memory, especially their relationships to age, power, and society. The eight large canvases created for this exhibition depict portraits of anonymous soldiers. These function as souvenirs of the soldiers’ life experiences as well as a more universal recognition of human conflict. Similar to this point of view are watercolor images of newborn children. The 12 large-scale, red-toned paintings comprise a presentation of innocence and purity—a common starting point no matter one’s origins, abilities, and destinations in life. Life Souvenir is accompanied by a major color publication with essays by Mami Kataoka, senior curator at the Mori Art Museum, Tokoyo, Japan, and Jeff Fleming, Art Center director, who also organized the exhibition.

Yan Pei-Ming: Life Souvenier is sponsored by Faegre & Benson, LLP, KPMG, LLP, and Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.

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