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YOU JIN (CHINA, B. 1979)
YOU JIN (CHINA, B. 1979)

Daydreaming About the Future

YOU JIN (CHINA, B. 1979)
Daydreaming About the Future
dated and signed ‘2016 Youjin’ (lower right); inscribed and signed in Chinese, titled, measured, inscribed and signed ‘Daydreaming about the Future 130 × 194 cm oil on canvas 2016 Youjin’ (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
130 x 194 cm (51 1/8 x 76 3/8 in.)
Painted in 2016
Private Collection, Asia
Park View Green Art, You Jin, Taipei, Taiwan, 2016 (illustrated, pp.38-39).

Lot Essay

If one day you were to lie down at your leisure on a piece of empty ground, wouldn't your view of the sky and the shadows cast by the trees seem completely different? A Daydream About the Future presents the strange fantasy world of You Jin as seen from this special point of view. Lush, green branches reach from the borders of the canvas toward the center, partially blocking our view of the light blue sky——and  it may be that the scorching sun is making us see things, but a horde of multicolored specks and halos of light seem to be raining down, filling the canvas like floating bubbles and spreading across it in a pleasing array. Accompanying these is a red ribbon, floating in the center, while a spiral staircase stretches upward dizzyingly to point that the eyes cannot reach.
You Jin has always been adept at the use of brilliant, highly saturated color. Here, whether in the lines and blocks of color that make up the tree branches, the imaginative spiral staircase, or the countless haloes of color floating across the canvas, each element is treated with strong, complex hues. In the work of American artist Wayne Thiebaud one also finds similarly vivid and resplendent color (Fig. 1), and both artists offer rich treatment of light and shadow. Variegated color and subtle shifts of hue express light, shadow, and texture. By contrast with Thiebaud, who was concerned with finding richness and beauty in the ordinary, everyday things around him, You Jin's passion lies in re-creating the unique spaces of his own mind. He cleverly reconstructs in his works scenes that could never exist in reality, presenting us with a gorgeous, dazzling world of dreams and illusions.
This sensational composition, at first glance, is dazzling and bewildering. But a closer look at this fictional scene shows how viewing it as three separate spaces, one at a time, benefits our understanding. The red ribbon at the center occupies what is typically the straight-on horizontal view, and thus indicates ordinary, realistic space. The sky, partially blocked by tree branches, is depicted as it would be viewed in an upward gaze. The stair that hovers and aims to climb endlessly above extends into space beyond the sky, making it difficult for the eye to follow and to guess at its end point, which apparently lies in an unknown world somewhere beyond. Wassily Kandinsky's exploration of space is similarly intriguing, seeming to almost reverse correct perspective and complicating the space of the work (Fig. 2). You Jin, by contrast, reconstructs on his canvas a complex, multi-spatial scene, breaking down the assumption that we are limited to viewing only one type of perspective and from one angle only. His rearrangement, juxtaposing different perspective relationships, suggests a wealth of deep meanings and implications. 
 "A stairway expresses the heights or the depths of human life." You Jin has never ceased expressing his own sense of the world through his art. Living in a cities that are always undergoing intensive development, the constant, sudden changes in the surrounding environment cannot leave us know how to adjust, and the question of how to find a firm footing in the midst of our complex societal relationships has become an unavoidable issue in the lives of modern people. The red ribbon floating above this complex, convoluted space reflects our position in society, as we face uncertainty and anxiety about the endless choices confronting us. But You Jin also never ceases to respond with a positive and optimistic outlook: "In my art, and in my thoughts, I'm a joyful person." These lively, lucid colors display the artist's enthusiastic attitude toward the world in which he lives, while the outlandish idea of a staircase, spiraling endlessly upwards toward an unknown space, reveals much about his beautiful daydreams and hopes for the future.

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