Qi is a spiritual energy that represents a vital energy in Chinese culture. It roughly translates to "air." In YangYang Pan's paintings, the spirit of Qi is palatable. The work vibrates with the richly pigmented colours and palatable brushstrokes. "My abstractions certainly share an interest in Monet's light, and the emotional evocation is rooted in the spirit of Oriental aesthetics," Pan said.
Pan's practice has spanned over ten years, resulting in a visible confidence. Each brush stroke and choice of colour feel imbued with purpose. The work in "Sultry Gardens," are highly energetic paintings, looking at them, you get the sense they are buzzing. Layers of brush strokes cumulate in a lyrical abstraction made up of a symphony of colours.
Clusters of forest green make way for yellows and reds, before succumbing to off-white in "Cheerful Moment." The downward movement of the paint strokes invokes the sense of rain, whereas the upward strokes towards the top of the painting can be read as a metaphor for the growth that rain begets. It's hard not to feel happy when looking at Pan's canvases, yet they avoid being reductive-Pan doesn't shy away from colours, but balances out the bright pigments with dark vignettes that frame the paintings, creating a moodiness and depth to the otherwise upbeat paintings.
While the large canvases draw the viewer into the work and fill up a space, the small works "focus on the compelling details and texture, the subtle interaction, that may be some kind of reaching out for something more personal," Pan said. In one of Pan's smaller canvases, "Mist Light," she uses thick, wide brushstrokes that create a minimalist quality. In "Sultry Gardens," Pan has begun experimenting with using her fingers and newspaper to apply paint-the variety of paint strokes are visible and result in an added intimacy to the work. Pan's work is gestural, yet controlled. Her intuition for balance comes through in her paintings in multiple forms.
Yangyang Pan: The Beautiful Moment
October 10 - November 3, 2013
"It is the sudden jolt when you become acutely aware of your surroundings. It is the sharp intake of breath that coincides with a double take. It is the ache of longing for the intangible: the very essence of what you see before you. It is the realization that there exists something bigger than you and your nitty-gritty. It is when you cease to see with only your eyes, when clarity is delivered with your whole being. It is the beautiful moment.
Yangyang Pan's new body of work is a rich representation of this moment. Her series is composed of quiet landscapes and lush florals. Her brushstrokes are a call to action; they challenge, mesmerize and tease.
Yangyang's abstract landscapes are compelling islands of fantasy vegetation that loom out of the mist. The exuberant nature of the artist's palette is tempered by the soft blue greys that form a magical fog. Yangyang leads us to a place where we feel we are on the cusp of discovery. This beautiful moment is one of peace. The calm that settles allows us to recognize this Toronto painter's adroitness with colour and composition, almost an act of alchemy. In a moment of lucidity we grasp that she has captured the intensity of life itself. Yangyang Pan sets the stage so artfully for our seduction. We cannot help but succumb to a reaction of pure emotion.
Yangyang's new group of gardens and floral portraits, however, releases in us an almost physical pleasure. A heady mix of joy so strong it borders on fear, this beautiful moment is akin to flirting with the loss of control. It is overwhelming; we do not know if we will be able to experience such a burst of self-recognition again. Humbled by the potency of this visual feast, we are quick to put reason aside. The urge to be enveloped by her gardens and smothered beneath the velvet petals becomes too much. Yangyang's bouquets compel us to lunge forward, to take what we can and make away with it. And isn't that what the beautiful moment is all about?
Yangyang Pan's gift to us is that she can make the moment last."
-Sabine Modder, Editor of Moco Roco