A Solo Show by Yu Guo: From Ridge to Ridge
2023.05.26 - 2023.06.25
Artist: Yu Guo

In many cases, artistic creation arises from a certain “impulse.” When asked about the origin of their creations, most artists find it bothersome and unnecessary to explain to others. However, over time, they often realize that the person they truly want to understand is themselves.

The ideal scenario occurs when one cannot fully grasp this “impulse,” allowing them to continue their creative journey endlessly. During the process of creation, there are always epiphanies one cherishes so much so that they guide the artist through different stages, even if they have little impact on others.

My earliest works related to “geography” were simply about immersing myself in its very existence. For example, I would listen to radio broadcasts about the city while exploring the depths of the mountains on the outskirts of a city, until I reached a point where phone signals disappeared. At that time, I could not explain the meaning behind this “impulse,” but I was certain it was not an escape from everyday life. Perhaps it was an attempt to understand why humans can only perceive reality within a certain scale and the relationship between perception and space. Consequently, my early works primarily conveyed this “relationship” through imagery, and in the process, I naturally discovered the dimension of “medium.” This is why my works from that period now carry a sense of “performative image” in retrospect, despite their different initial intentions.

However, “reality” is not limited to space, medium, and the body. It also encompasses other people, events, history, and more. If the early impulse of “walking into the mountains” was not to escape reality but rather to sharpen a metaphorical “weapon,” then the subsequent phase of my work intentionally “dared” more complex relationships. Nevertheless, art always requires embodied experiences, so the specific geographical space compelled me to describe “reality” in a concrete and precise manner. During this phase, “geography” in my works represented specific cities, villages, or particular topographies. Although these works may appear eclectic, the underlying approach remained unified.

Today, my understanding and utilization of “geography” are undergoing further changes. In my artistic creation, “geography” can serve as a medium; it can be the mountains behind my childhood home that I remember, or a mountain pass I once traversed. It can symbolize the vast expanse of reality or a recurring origin in my memory. Regardless, the unwavering impulse driving my creative process is to depict “reality” based on a geographical foundation. Fortunately, the practice has its own autonomy, and I am solely responsible for its validity, eliminating the need for exhaustive explanations.

By Yu Guo


"From Ridge to Ridge" by Yu Guo will open on May 26th (Friday), concurrently with Gallery Week Beijing. This marks Yu Guo's first solo exhibition at CLC Gallery.