The Fantasy Factory: New Works by Ye Hongxing
“Everybody must have a fantasy.” – Andy WarholContemporary China exists in a state of fantasy, and artist Ye Hongxing is no exception. Art+ Shanghai Gallery’s exhibition The Fantasy Factory: New Works by Ye Hongxing explores the creative process of fantasy and the fantastic through mixed media works of stickers on canvas. Beijing-based artist Ye Hongxing plays with the world she perceives around her, injecting pop culture and a sense of sardonic humor into her works like a modern-day female Andy Warhol. At once whimsical and witty, her works cannot help but tease: What’s real and what’s fantasy? Do you ever know for sure?

Ye Hongxing’s exhibited works feature stickers – little images of smiling blue bunnies, fluffy cupcakes, and so forth that capture the innocence of childhood and resonate regardless of culture or generation. Ye Hongxing mosaics these bright, playful pieces of pop culture into compositions of contemporary confusion, using stickers as a gateway into the realm of environmental pollution, fading traditional cultures, and the glossy glamorization of a consumer society. The Fantasy Factory is the tedious production of hundreds of stickers on canvases and the bold open-ended statements that beg for discussion among exhibition-goers. Fantasy is ideological flight of fancy, but more fundamentally, it is the re-contextualization of the real in a fantastical mode. Fantasy is not devoid of reality; it is an extension of it. The fantastical is that which commands awe and captivates thought, where menageries of images, thoughts, and discoveries battle harmoniously in rich compositions, and where the mythical melds with problem-riddled reality. There is a sense of playful layering and weaving, blurring boundaries between fact and fiction, sight and illusion, smiles and smirks, to be simultaneously individual and universal.

Part ideal, part statement, and part provocation, Ye Hongxing’s Fantasy Factory mixes bits of her Beijing surroundings with a healthy dose of imagination and mindful creativity to be relatable to a wide audience and wonderfully immersive in both conceptual depth and contemporary commentary. Gas masks, kama sutra, models, tigers, stilettos, oh my. Mingling across her canvases, these alluring images of polluted skies and over-the-top fashions are at once real and fantastical, playing off the real yet surreal world of contemporary China. We welcome you into her world, to get lost in The Fantasy Factory.

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