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Past exhibitions >> Bai Ye Solo Exhibition
Bai Ye
 
I first met Bai Ye in 2007 on one of my first visits to Xi’An, and have been keeping up with his work ever since. It seemed to be a surprising contradiction when I first found out that this artist is also a policeman working in the Xi’An prison system. But as I have studied his work I have come to believe that this may be one of the keys to a deeper understanding of his psyche and what his paintings are all about. Perhaps he understands better than anyone about the privilege and struggle of freedom. The basic elements and characters of his work have been the prisoner/child, and the Mandela/maze/prison. Bai Ye struggles with the paint on the canvas as a child searches his imagination to find another world where he can become whatever he wants to be. His work is messy, complicated, and brutal at times (like a child) but elegant and incredibly detailed and precise at other times. His work is seemingly trapped in the present searching the past for a window where the child can escape into some bright future and be finally free. There is no pretense in his work, it is honest and pure, and despite it’s sometimes complex visual struggle, full of joy and beautiful surprises.  
 
 
James Elaine
The curator of U.S. Hammer Museum
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