Yan Pei-Ming's palette is often bound to two shades: black and white. He lets these two colors play, ooze, burst with one another, and within each other. Yet there is a third color that is just as present in his work: red. Yan Pei-Ming’s red is the most dazzling, the most violent hue, engaging in a dance of life and intensity with his whites. Whites and blacks, sometimes grays, play a role beyond the one that Barthes assigned to photography in opposition to painting: the art of death, against the art of life. His black and white paintings create a suspended moment in time, where we question their very presence.
Amidst this doubt, red creates space to affirm the tragic yet utterly sensitive power of life. When contemplating Yan Pei-Ming’s red works, we are faced with the appalling and sublime spectacle of the fire of existence.
Exhibition text by Donatien Grau