Unfolding Worlds: The Art of Yun Gee and Li-lan by Carter RatcliffYun Gee was a prodigy. Born in 1906, in China, he moved to the United States when he was 15 years old. It was a long way, geographically and culturally, from his birthplace, the village of Kaiping, in Guangdong Province, to San Francisco, where he joined his father, who had settled in the city there a few years earlier and established himself as a merchant. Continue...
Natural Influence By Gene-Manuel WhirlingThe title of this exhibition, Natural Influence, contains within it many intricate layers of connection. There’s the obvious inherent influence between a father and daughter and whatever genetic information was passed down between their DNA. But in the case of Yun Gee and Li-lan, there is also the natural flow of influence between two artists. Continue...
Yun Gee: Transcending Nationality by Melissa WaltYun Gee penned “The Chinese Artist and the World of Tomorrow” in the mid-1920s, a few years after settling in America. In it, he proposed two goals for his contemporaries: embrace Western influences in order to make Chinese art more universally relevant for the twentieth century and promote Chinese philosophical principles for the general betterment of the world. It also offers a template for Yun Gee’s career. Continue...
Yun Gee and Li-lan: Art Without Borders by Stephanie Buhmann
By the time Yun Gee moved to Paris in 1927 as a promising artist in his early 20s, he had already lived on two different continents and experienced emotional adversity. Born in 1906 in Kaiping in Guangdong Province to Gee Quong On and Wong See, he had moved to San Francisco at the age of fifteen in order to join his father, who was working there as a merchant. However, due to the United States' Asian Exclusion Act, which prohibited Asian women from legal immigration at the time, Gee’s mother was not able to follow suit. It would prove more than a mere temporary separation, as Gee would never see her again.
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A Glimpse of America by Sammy PrestonAmerica: Painting a Nation at the Art Gallery of NSW presents an image of America that you might not have expected. The survey of painted works is small – the collection includes around 90 pieces spread across only a few rooms, but it captures some of the key milestones and sentiments from across the nation’s history, from colonisation to now. Continue...
Yun Gee’s Artistic Journey Across Three Continents: Rooted in China and Exploring European and American Modern Art By Tung Hsiao ChouYun Gee's art career was closely related to his personal life experiences. His social and political involvement, together with his relationships from the places he lived, made a great impact on the painterly style of his work. Continue . . .
Asian artists in the United States by D. Scott AtkinsonRather than follow a traditional Eastern aesthetic, Gee gravitated toward European modernism, especially Orphism – a derivation of Cubism coined by the French poet Guillaume Apollinaire. Continue . . .
Modern Currents in the Paintings of Yun Gee By Daniell CornellWorks in the exhibition by early- twentieth-century artist Yun Gee exemplify a patter of shifting attention among artistic currents in Asia, America, and Europe. Continue . . .
Chinese Artists in the United States: A Chinese Perspective By Mayching Kao[Yun Gee's] early artistic career showed promise, and he was accepted by the artistic circles in San Francisco, and later in Paris and New York. Continue . . .
Postwar California: Asian American Modernism By Paul J. KarlstromIn the effort to determine possible features of an Asian American relationship to modernism (ways in which the various shared experiences of these communities we have decided to treat as one in this book may be reflected in the art), the life and work of Chinese American Yun Gee offers an excellent starting point. Continue . . .
The Tip of the Iceberg: Early Asian American Artists in New York By Tom Wolf
Today Gee is the best-known Chinese American artist active in the first half of the twentieth century, appreciated especially for the strikingly modernist paintings he made in San Francisco in the 1920s. Continued...
Transnationals in “In Between” Spaces (Introduction) by Joyce BrodskyBiracial artists like Maya Lin and Li-lan and transnational artists like Yun Gee may be burdened by the effects of racism and bigotry, but the perceptions they gain from their location in the "third space" may provide them with insights that strengthen their resolve and enrich their art practice. Continue . . .
A Brief History of Painting in Chinese America to 1945 By Anthony W. LeeA remarkable self-portrait, an oil painting called The Flute Player by Yun Gee, is an even more self-conscious expression of eclecticism and daring. Continue . . .
Yun Gee, An International Modernist By Ilene Susan FortWho was Yun Gee? A painter, musician, dancer, teacher, theorist, inventor, and more. A poor immigrant with a wealth of creative ideas. A solitary philosopher who actively promoted the arts. A dreamer whose personal vision and ambitions were thwarted by the political and social realities of his day. Continue . . .
Before the World Moved In – Early Modernist Still Life in California 1920-1950 By Patricia TrentonOne of Oldfield’s students was the talented young Chinese American Yun Gee, whose still lifes of 1926 and 1927 reflect the importance of color and rhythmic flow of forms. Continue . . .
A Modernist Painter’s Journey in America by Paul Karlstrom
Among the most advanced modernist painters active in California during the 1920s, Yun Gee forged an international career that began in his native China, included two sojourns in Paris, and ended in New York City with his death in 1963.Continue . . .
Solitary Proposals by Anthony W. LeeIf in his poetry Gee wrote about the pleasures and pains of a simple material life, grand ideas that could be extracted from banal events, or the meanings that could possibly be construed during moments of hunger and poverty, he had ample experience with the subjects. Continue . . .
Memories of my father by Li-lanPerhaps I was ten years old, or even younger. I remember the quiet of his dimly lit studio. My father would sit at the dining room table, newspapers covering the worn surface, brush in hand, focusing all his attention on the paper in front of him. Only the shrill cries of his birds interrupted the silence. . . Continue . . .
When East Came West: Asian-Americans are finding their place in the history of modern art by Edward M. GomezAmong Asian-American modernists of note whose oeuvres visibly melded styles, techniques and sensibilities from the East and West was Yun Gee, who left southern China in 1921 to join his immigrant father, who had already settled in San Francisco. There, a lively art scene exposed Yun Gee to California Impressionism and other European-derived modernist styles. Continue . . .
San Francisco, Paris, and New York: Works by Yun Gee from 1926 – 1933 by Robert E. Harrist, Jr.Many decades before a current generation of young Chinese artists living in the United States achieved international recognition, Yun Gee (1906 – 1963), a restlessly inventive painter, sculptor, poet, and performer born in Guangdong province, held one-man shows in San Francisco, exhibited in Paris galleries, and gave classes in “New Cubism” in his Greenwich Village apartment – all before reaching the age of thirty. Continue . . .
Revolutionary Artists By Anthony W. LeeWe know very few details about a remarkable artists’ collective in 1920s Chinatown, the ambitiously named Chinese Revolutionary Artists’ Club. It has left little trace, though some important facts remain. The club was formed during an intensely anti-Chinese moment in San Francisco – just two years after the passage of the 1924 Immigration Act, the harshest legislation yet passed to exclude the Chinese from the United States. Continue . . .
Seducing American Eyes: Artist Yun Gee and the Federal Theater Project by Seunghei Hong • Puppetry International – Spring 2001
One of the most prolific moments in American puppet theater was in the 1930s, in the midst of the Depression. The federal government’s Works Project Administration (WPA) created the Federal Theater Project, one of whose important elements was a nationwide network of marionette units... Continue. . .
Yun Gee and China by Chia Chi Jason Wang
Yun Gee (1906-63) was born during the waning days of the last Chinese empire. The revolution was ready to explode, and young intellectuals were ready to take up the fight to bring about a democratic system of government, freedom, equality, and brotherly love. The hotbed of revolution was none other than Yun Gee's birthplace, Guangdong Province.Continue . . .
Preface • The Art of Yun Gee Taipei Fine Arts Museum by Huang Kuang-nan
Every sincere painter tries to find an apt expression of his time, to communicate the view of his contemporaries, and to express their concern.This is Yun Gee's believe which has been consistently embodied in his work throughout his life. The art of Yun Gee not only delineates his versatile career, representing his enthusiastic response toward prevailing modern art trends, but also documents his contemplation of our times. Continue . . .
Rediscovery – Yun Gee’s Art by Li Lundin
Ten years ago, when American ceramic artist Mrs. Camille Bilops was invited to give lectures on American Drama in Kaohsiung Normal College, she showed several slides of Yun Gee's paintings during a speech session introducing American Artists in New York City... Continue. . .
A Journey Home by Li-lanAs a small child, I saw stacks of paintings in his studio, piled high, turned in towards the walls. I often wished those paintings could move outside to take their place in a bigger world. Just as it would move my father, it moves me that his work is now being celebrated by his countrymen. Continue . . .
Yun Gee: An Introduction By Ronny CohenYun Gee belongs to the forefront of early twentieth century avant-garde American art. This exhibition highlights his work of the 1920s and early 1930s, the period when he definitely found his own way by pushing the modernist legacy of the School of Paris forward into deeply personal and strikingly poetical directions. Continue . . .
China: My Father’s Village by Li-lan
In China I discovered a vital part of my heritage, a vital part of myself. In my father's birthplace - his spiritual home as an artist and a man - the child in me, with all the pain and elation of discovery, was awakened...
Yun Gee: A Rediscovery by Judith Tannenbaum
Trained in China, schooled in San Francisco of the 1920s, galvanized by Paris of the 1920s and 1930s, Yun Gee's work suggests both personal discovery and acuity to the cultural terms of painting of the period. . . Continue . . .
The Rediscovered Genius of Artist Yun Gee by Mary CastagnozziIt was the early forties, and the world was at war. A young Chinese man sat in a Greenwich Village studio, philosophizing and dreaming with friends. Canaries, nightingales, and skylarks sang in birdcages. A candle flickered next to a human skull. . . Continue . . .
Yun Gee: Forgotten Synchromist Painter By Diane Cochrane
In the 1920s when Yun Gee was alive and well and living in Paris, fame, even fortune, seemed certain. At 22 he had already had three one-man shows including one at the prestigious Bernheim-Jeune Gallery; he was married to a well-known poet, Paule de Reuss; and he hobnobbed with such luminaries of the Paris scene as Gertrude Stein, Andre Lhote, and Paul Guillaume.
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