Guo Fengyi: To See from a Distance is the first major institutional presentation of the Chinese artist’s work in the United States. The exhibition features more than thirty works from Guo’s brief yet prolific career, including drawings executed on book and calendar pages and on cloth, as well as small- and large-scale drawings on rice-paper scrolls. Spanning two floors of The Drawing Center’s galleries, To See from a Distance provides an overview of Guo’s visionary drawings, which incorporate the diagrammatic, the mystical, and the wildly imaginative.
Born in 1942 in Xi’an, Guo began making art in her late forties after debilitating arthritis forced her into early retirement from a job at a chemical fertilizer factory. To alleviate her chronic pain, Guo devoted herself to qigong—an ancient Chinese wellness and healing technique that combines coordinated movements, breathing, and meditation. Qigong allowed Guo, who did not have an academic art training, to develop a deeply personal and symbolically charged visual language. During her meditations, Guo drew what she envisioned, creating intricate ink drawings on subjects ranging from cosmology and Chinese mythology to traditional Chinese medicine and philosophy.
Guo Fengyi: To See from a Distance is co-produced by The Drawing Center, New York, and SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah. The exhibition is curated by Rosario Güiraldes Assistant Curator, and Laura Hoptman, Executive Director, The Drawing Center, and organized at the SCAD Museum of Art by Humberto Moro, Adjunct Curator. The exhibition will be on view at SCAD Museum of Art August 15-December 20, 2020.
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Guo Fengyi: To See from a Distance is made possible by Long March Space.
Generous funding is provided by the W.L.S. Spencer Foundation.
Additional support is provided by the Toll Charitable Foundation and Sarah Peter.
Image: Guo Fengyi, Fetus, 1989. Colored ink on calendar paper, 31 5/16 x 21 inches (99.7 x 73 cm). Courtesy of Long March Space.