Yuan Zhang

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Curated by:

TRENTO ART FESTIVAL

Yuan Zhang has been conducting research on space and place for several years.
Starting with landscape painting, he came to reflect on the iconography of the map.
In the Italian language the term “paesaggio” (landscape) was born in the sixteenth century and precisely in the pictorial field to the point that etymological dictionaries indicate as the first reference a writing of Tiziano Vecellio, commenting on his practice of “bel paesare”, that is, the attitude of the Venetian painters of the sixteenth century to return in a harmonious form the relationship between natural vision and view of man-made countries.
The word “paesaggio” derives among other things from the Roman term “pagus” which means “boundary stone”. Both the pictorial origin and the ancient derivation make us understand that when we think of the “landscape” as a pure natural vision it is wrong, because the “landscape” always contains an intervention of man, whether it is a castle on a hill or a road next to a river.
Perhaps it is also for this reason that Yuan Zhang went to investigate the map, which in landscape iconographies deal with the specific subject of the city.
But the young artist's works also include the satellite view of the world, which, since its online accessibility, has transformed our perception of the landscape. The lands seen from the satellite have taken on a geometric form and highlight the crops as if they were fabrics sewn together.
Zhang adds to these “natural” geometries his own chessboard dominated by numerical coordinates. In presenting his landscapes, the artist plays with rotation, constructing territories and cities that from real become imaginary.
Massimo Pulini

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