Linhan Yu 于林汉 : Disassembly of Janus

Linhan Yu 于林汉 

Artwork’s Title: Disassembly of Janus

Materials Used: Acryl and Screen printing on canvas

Studio Based: Berlin

Linhan Yu, Disassembly of Janus, Acryl and Screen printing on canvas, 2020

Can you tell us about the process of making your work?

My creative method is mainly painting between accident and control. I often use many traditional printing techniques such as screen printing, but I often use advanced technologies such as 3D modeling and VR glasses in the production of materials. , I think this is a kind of conflict, which can also increase uncertain factors.  For me, the painting is like a permutation and combination of images. The regular production method stimulates errors. And the step-by-step approach makes the new works and the old works inseparable.

How would you define your work in a few words (ideally in 3 words)?

Painting is a concept.

Would you use another three different words to describe the ‘Disassembly of Janus‘ painting?

Circulation, Causal relationship, by accident.

How did you come up with this painting idea? Is there any story behind the ‘Disassembly of Janus painting?

This work is inspired by the Greek mythology Janus. He is usually portrayed as having two faces because he looks to the future and the past at the same time. I drew the picture of a double skull with VR glasses and printed the painted picture symmetrically on the canvas to metaphorize my understanding of life and death. And to deal with the two-sidedness that arises from the development of medical technology. Unlike the rare medical device images used in my previous works, which are mostly derived from personalization, the skeleton itself is a symbolic image that removes the identity. I think this non-personal characteristic can lead to a broader abstract thinking.

Because I have been doing works on medical technology or disease themes for a long time, and this is also a branch of my big theme.

What colour is used the most in this painting?

This question may seem simple, but it is a very important question for painting. I will choose unconventional colors and try my best to choose colors that I feel are not easy to control, but the color I choose and the content of the work also echo each other, such as this one , The only two colors in the work, yellow and black,  they are not only a conflicting color to me, but also the color of the vaccine manual (Impfbroschüre) used by the Germans. The coincidence here is actually intentional.

What would be the best way to exhibit your work?

Combining with wall works is my usual method, such as wallpaper or wall painting, screen printing, etc., but other methods cannot be ruled out. I also plan to hang it in a room wrapped in plastic sheet at the exhibition in early 2021. But it does not rule out the possibility of hanging this painting alone.

Can you mention any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?

It is difficult to mention one or several artists now, because countless good artists in this era must have an influence on me, and this influence is mixed. So maybe the artist I want to mention is Caspar David Friedrich, a well-known German master who represents a painting spirit. I feel that I have been influenced by him for a long time, and I have also searched for his works in various European countries to visit.

How do you know when this painting was finished?

Let’s follow my habit. I will first make it in my usual way, and then leave it in the studio for a few days before going to see it. If I’m still satisfied, it will end. I don’t like it. I like to make works in one go. Repeatedly painting will be very stressful. I think artistic feeling is a momentary thing.

What about the place where you work? What’s your studio space look like?

At present the studio is mainly in Berlin, but the studio is small, only 15-20 square meters, because I often go to the Workshop to make works. My studio space is basically the size of my work, The size of my work is the limit size I can make in the studio

Is there any particular message that you wish your viewers can take from this painting?

In fact, I have been avoiding the direct or compulsory information that my work brings to the audience. I hope that the audience will have a different understanding, even not close to my original intention.

What does your mum think about your art?

My parents have a supportive attitude towards my career, but they don’t understand what I’m doing, but our goal is the same, which is to be able to obtain happiness in the end, even if the process is painful.

Which exhibition did you visit last?

Due to the severe pandenmic, I am currently in Berlin and basically all art-related industries are closed. The last time I saw an exhibition was in early November. At that time, the last wave of gallery exhibitions opened at this year. There are many good exhibitions. There are two impressive ones. One is from Ian Kiaer at Barbara Wien, and Wolfgang Tillmans at Galerie Buchholz.

Which are your plans for the near future?

It is difficult to plan in this year, especially for Asians in Europe like me. My plan is always changing. The scheduled exhibition project has been postponed many times. The exhibition in Germany has basically been postponed, and the exhibition in China is also difficult to arrange due to my uncertainty. It is indeed difficult to see hope at the moment. So now I can only hope that the world is peaceful again. What I can do more is to stay healthy and maintain a positive attitude.

Additional Images

Linhan Yu, Exhibition view at Galerie Herold Bremen, Germany, 2020
Linhan Yu, Exhibition view at Hive Center for contemporary art Beijing China, 2020, 蜂巢当代艺术中心
Linhan Yu, Exhibition view at Hive Center for contemporary art Beijing China, 2019, 蜂巢当代艺术中心
Linhan Yu, Exhibition view at Weserburg Bremen, Germany, 2018


All images are courtesy of the artist

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