Approaching you, and stare into your eyes, I realize you are an existence beyond me, neither friendly nor aloof, yet unreachable. This is “You” — Yu Han’s (Shao Fan) world of art.
In the chaotic and fragmented present, as one steps into Yu Han’s (Shao Fan) world of art, one would immediately grasp the long lost sense of calmness and intellectual depth. Like the director of the Ludwig Art Museum, Beate Reifenscheid’s comment for the artist’s exhibition “You – Yu Han’s Solo Exhibition”, “They look at you with stoic serenity, with a gaze that is as penetrating as it is unapproachable”. Although Yu Han’s (Shao Fan) works may seem reticent and refrained, they aspire to reach high intellectual and spiritual realms. His painting techniques draw from antiquity while withholding his personal take on solitude as if by channeling the past into the present, time would be encapsulated into one instant which encompasses a thousand years. In his own words, “When I foresee the future, I always return to the past, and the present manifests its thinnest layer”. The self-abnegation, enigma, and transcendence are integrated into this notion of “examining antiquity” the artist suggests, an approach that has let him permeate traditional Chinese aesthetics into the expressions of contemporary art.
Shao Fan, also known by the name of Yu Han, is one of the few contemporary Chinese artists whose practice traverses among mediums of sculpture, oil painting, ink painting, Chinese gardens, architecture and design, as his distinct perspectives have been articulated throughout. Maintaining an independent, elegant and objective position, his works of art present an extreme tranquility and calmness. In gazing at the works, one seems to enter into a state of meditation. With every brushstroke done in the most refined and sophisticated manner, Shao Fan’s works are better construed as a response to the world at present, than one’s personal artistic endeavor or a revisit to ancient classics.
In others, one introspects the self.
Written as a foreword of the exhibition.