For its new contemporary carte blanche, the Musée national des arts asiatiques – Guimet invites the Chinese artist Yang Jiechang. Recognized for his mastery of traditional Chinese arts, Yang Jiechang expresses himself through a multitude of media: paintings, graphic arts, installations, videos, performances or sculptures. His art is infused with traditional Chinese calligraphy, aesthetics and thought, which are integrated into a contemporary context.
Presented in the 4th floor rotunda, Tale of the 11th Day (2011) is an 18-meter long painting on silk mounted on canvas, accompanied by a set of eleven porcelain vases, the result of a four-year collaboration with the Manufacture de Sèvres. Tale of the 11th Day is a reference to Boccaccio’s (1348-1353) Decameron, the tale of ten days. Imagining the 11th day, the artist depicts a primordial landscape drawn according to the classical models of the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368). Yang Jiechang’s style is austere, pure and universal. He presents an allegorical vision of the Italian Renaissance masterpiece where animals and humans discover and mate: a Paradise where all divisions – religious, ethnic, ideological or political – are apparently erased. Tale of the 11th Day is the utopia of a globalized world naturally based on equality, respect, love and compassion. However, Yang Jiechang’s sensual paradise is painted in a time marked by armed conflict and contemporary crises. The installation reminds us that the harmony of relationships is still based on power relations, an unstable balance that is constantly being redefined.