Shadows and Traces
a review of You Guangling's exhibition
My gallery peer, Mr. You Guangling's photography works have been edited into a book and displayed in his exhibition. First of all, that surprised me as it was my first time to see such a great many explorations of his on photography and such a rich collection of artworks. His works are filled with true affections at first sight. It can be seen from his rich visuals that shadows and traces of objects interact with him very well while he is feeling and capturing various sceneries. Whether it is a natural pond of lotuses or a city full of life, whether it is the lively human beings in real life or some quiet corner easy enough for someone to ignore, he can anyhow pick up the lively rhythms and tunes formed in the glitter of sunlight and create with his camera a mood of pied shadows. Photography is arguably an art of lights and You Guangling is putting his emphasis on "light", or, in other words, using the language of light, he is focused on presenting his works in a both natural and artistic way controlled by the power and flavor of light.
Meanwhile, his works are also characterized by formalization of traces. Such marks come from a variety of daily objects: a piece of ground, a street corner, a section of old wall. Traces of their life process were highlighted in his lens, which converted the texture of natural sceneries into a language of strong forms. In it different colors and textures become a form of abstraction, which makes his photographs look like pieces of fine art. This results from You Guangling's professionalism. He is adept at capturing the outside world and express his inner world with his sense of shape in painting. His rich variety of works show his broad vision and enthusiasm about life.
As the director of Fujian Art Museum, Guangling has been dedicating himself in propelling the modern development of art museums. He has hosted in southeastern coastal regions a lot of art exhibitions that had fresh academic themes and reflected the new trends and new features of the development of contemporary art. He has also spared no effort in turning art museums into homes to public cultural services. Apparently the busy job makes it impossible for him to focus on producing like a professional artist, so these artworks are his visions during his visits around out of work. And it is because of so that he treasures whatever he sees and feels and he maintains a mood to capture any trivial object and scenery beyond his work. Though he is upright and bold towards his work, we can see his exquisite emotions for objects from these art works. Moreover, we can see his reminiscence of time, his sighs for life and deep concerns for many seemingly ordinary things during his return to his inner world. I believe, as he is accumulating, he can convert such observations and emotions into the world in his lens more and more.