Ghosts and Ghouls on Grand Street: Yun-Fei Ji

Robert C. Morgan at artcritical:

For Chinatown residents, Ji’s paintings may serve as an allegory of what is happening elsewhere; but for Chinese farmers and their families it is reality, one they are forced to confront as an everyday occurrence. In rural China today , extreme poverty has become a fact of life. This has much to do with the fields formerly used for growing crops that have been flooded to produce electrical power or polluted to the extent that farmers no longer have land to work and water to fish and drink, thus leaving their families in a desperate state constantly fighting for survival. Their fields are now dumping grounds for antiquated computer parts that poison the furrows they once tilled.

These harrowing conditions are at the source of what Ji paints and through the act of painting in a style reminiscent of the Southern Sung Dynasty (1127 – 1279), the artist reminds himself of the China that few urban residents have actually seen.

more here.