Yan Pei Ming’s work, dominated by sweeping brush strokes, thick washes of paint and a limited array of colours where red, black or grey are prominent, exudes extraordinary energy and poetry. Indeed, the narrow range of colours adds magnificent strength to his paintings, endowing them with a sort of mysterious weightlessness.
The artist may well be best known for his immense faces – powerful portraits that shout out the soul of the characters he figures out in a moment – but Ming’s curious landscapes also hold fascination. Rural landscapes, often captured at night, populated with fields, copses and sometimes simple huts or streams glistening in the night sky – these are also mood landscapes. This is how this painting of the world of his childhood is defined, which is also a universal landscape, applicable to every one of us.
The painting on display at Chaumont-sur-Loire, on loan from the Pays de la Loire Regional Contemporary Art Fund (FRAC) as part of the Centre, Poitou-Charentes and Pays de la Loire FRACs’ Songe d’une nuit d’été (A Midsummer Night's Dream) initiative, belongs to this series of great magnetic landscapes, mental, melancholy and eternal landscapes.