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Aishan Yu – Parallel Realities

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Aishan Yu – Parallel Realities
Opening 26 November 2009, 6:30-8:30 pm
21 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1AA
Open Thursday and Friday, 10am to 6pm and by appointment
Open until Friday 18 December, 2009

Peifen Fine Art in collaboration with Piero Passet Gallery is pleased to present Parallel Realities,marking Aishan Yu’s first solo show in UK.

Yu’s recent paintings intuitively explore her personal interest in photographic realism and non-representational textures. She explores the field of portraiture through this combination to express the inner emotions of modern day humanity.

Chromatically muted but melancholically seductive, her paint touches wood only to reluctantly register some ghostly presence, like that of the white chemise in Revati (2009) which functions somewhat as the hollowed-out shell of an unseen, unidentifiable being. Revati incidentally is also the name of a princess in Hindu mythology whose adventures with her King-father to the realm of Lord Brahma the Creator - got her caught in a time dilation fix where time runs differently on parallel planes of existence. One minute in Heaven may be one year on Earth. No one really knows whether the woman in the picture is here or  elsewhere, despite being locatable by her titular placement at the window or in the bathroom.

In one set of works, Yu’s diminutive but precisely executed oil-on-board paintings feature a solitary female figure in some state of spiritual repose or quiet contemplation. Although by no means an unconventional subject matter, she has desired to imbue them with an emptiness that is simultaneously pregnant with an affective undertow.

Her Beck Forest series of paintings are also similarly evocative of this inhibition or introversion. A bald figure in an off-white trench coat set within a forest-scape is turned away from the gaze of the viewer and therefore of indeterminate sex and indiscernible expression. Such is the reticence that the figure could almost blend into the dense foliage and shadows. Does Yu mean for Nature to overcome Man? Or are we at the scene of a very human reverie or fairytale fantasy? These haunting oneiric images, pictures also deceptively fitting for a story book illustration, show the misty and moody influence of Tarkovsky’s The Mirror (1975), Nostalghia (1983) and Stalker (1979). Tarkovsky’s predilection is for discontinuous and non-chronological structures, where (fictionalised) memories enmesh with factual footage, but in Yu’s paintings time appears suspended, held in some precarious balance between the different realms.

Aishan Yu was born and raised in Sichuan, southwest of China and currently lives and works in London. She holds an MFA from the Slade School of Art in London and a BA from Sichuan Academy of Fine Art in China. Her work has been shown in numerous group exhibitions throughout China and UK. She has been awarded several prizes, including FBA Emerging Artist Prize (2009), The Stations of the Cross commission St Andrew Church (2008) and the Chinese New Generation Artist Award (2004).

21 Fleet Street is open Thursday and Friday, 10am to 6pm and by appointment. For further information, please contact Peifen Sung on +44 (0) 7956 238 582 or email


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