new-york

Yun-Fei Ji

Pratt Manhattan Gallery

In eight friezelike ink-and-mineral-pigment drawings on mulberry rice paper, Beijing-born Yun-Fei Ji conjures a world in turmoil that oscillates between the safety of centuries-old tradition and mortal terror concerning the next five minutes. Amid delicate, rolling landscapes rendered in muted greens, blues, and browns, vehicles collide, buildings collapse, and Goyaesque figures in grotesque masks and costumes indulge their every whim with apocalyptic abandon.

Ji’s technique, which involves staining, erasing, washing, and restaining a layered, handmade ground, exploits the chemical interaction of the materials employed to produce a wrinkled, weathered look of premature aging. This way of working, derived from the classical literati method—by which two years of research and preparation may be required to complete a single piece—captured the artist’s interest before his departure from China

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