Yun Gee: Midjourney • Tina Keng Gallery – Taipei • May 27 – July 29, 2023


Exhibition Dates │ 05.27.2023–07.29.2023
Reception │ 05.27.2023 (Sat.) 4:30 p.m.
Venue │Tina Keng Gallery (3F, No. 15, Ln. 548, Ruiguang Rd., Neihu Dist., Taipei, Taiwan 114)

Where does an artistic journey begin? Does it begin the moment one becomes enlightened about culture? Does it begin in an artist’s exploration of technique? Or in their foray into aesthetics? Where does it end in this boundless journey?

Tina Keng Gallery is pleased to present Yun Gee: Midjourney, a specially curated exhibition of the artist’s oil paintings and works on paper, including sketches and drawings, which offer a glimpse into his creative, experimental process.

Immigrating to San Francisco at the age of 15 in 1921, Yun Gee developed a seminal style that grounds vibrant, bold color blocks in cool, rigorous delineations. A style that found its roots in Cubism and flourished under the influence of Synchromism, championed by his mentors at the California School of Fine Arts. In 1927, Yun Gee was introduced to Prince and Princess Achille Murat, who were impressed by his work and encouraged him to move to Paris, which he did.  Yun Gee’s move to Paris exposed him to significant European influences. Earnestly embraced by the Parisian art circle, his work combined the fusion of East and West in an ingenious synergy of Chinese cultural symbols and Western painting styles.

Social upheaval in the 1930s sent Yun Gee back and forth between Paris and New York. In 1932 he was invited to be in the group exhibition Murals by American Painters and Photographers at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. For this exhibition he created the work Wheels: Industrial New York rendered in his singular “Diamondism.” Years later, this fortified Yun Gee’s status as one of the pioneering Chinese modern artists in history, as well as marking a milestone for Chinese artists.

Having lived in San Francisco, New York, and Paris, Yun Gee was propelled by his singular vision: redefining what painting is with a visual language that blurs the boundary between East and West. Voraciously, he explored the Chinese and Western artistic canons, from the Bible, murals, Chinese opera, to classical Chinese poetry. The avant-garde art movements and Eastern philosophical thoughts coalesced into a style that is distinctively Yun Gee’s: Diamondism, which emphasized a rhythmic organization of blocks and planes, brilliant contrasts, diamond-shaped divisions, and blending of vibrant colors, to break through spatial limitations and give voice to the stories and latent emotions behind his paintings.

The works on paper presented in this exhibition — some of them on view for the first time — shed light on the inner workings and creative nature of Yun Gee in his studio. Experimenting with color, composition, ink, brush, and cultural symbolism, Yun Gee investigates through metaphor and narrative what defines painting. His endeavor, embodied in each work, attests to the life experiences of the times he inhabited.

Yun Gee: Midjourney highlights the legacy of this important Chinese modern painter of the 20th century, who devoted himself to the blurring of boundaries between cultures, blazing a trail for generations to come.