Brave New World

© Courtesy of WU Yue and cadet capela
© Credits photo: Thomas Marroni

WU Yue

December 15, 2022 — January 21, 2023

54 rue Chapon, 75003 Paris

cadet capela is pleased to present Brave New World, a solo exhibition by WU Yue. The artist creates compositions of several levels of depth by subtraction with bleach. His paintings are filled with memories, icons and references from popular culture, especially post-Internet culture. Taken out of their context, these different elements are grouped together on the same canvas, in the manner of sampling, thus creating a “joyful mess” as the artist likes to say. 

Just as light imprints itself on the negative of a photographic film, the use of bleach captures the traces of the artist’s gesture on the fabric. This technique deconstructs the way we think about painting. With a brush, a marker or an airbrush filled with chlorine, WU Yue meticulously decolorizes the fabric; he creates volumes only by adding touches of light. The chemical reaction between the chlorine and the fabric creates a palette of shades unique to each canvas. This process reveals a raw and sincere work since the technique does not allow going back. 

The works in this exhibition are dotted with personal references. The work Brontosaurus (not authentic color) evokes a memory of his childhood in China, materialized by the sunflowers borrowed from the most famous painting of his grandfather, himself an artist. WU Yue associates it with a brontosaurus, a quote from a childhood drawing by George Condo made at his grandfather’s house. The work entitled In Your Hand reproduces a photo of skateboarder Richard Mulder showing off the first Nike Dunk SB in a Chinese factory, an image that left an impression on WU Yue and sparked his interest in fashion. As fate would have it, WU Yue is now the first artist from mainland China to officially collaborate with Nike.

WU Yue was born in 1983 in Beijing. He spent part of his childhood in the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing where his grandfather worked. After studying animation at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, WU Yue worked as a director for advertising and music projects. In parallel to his illustration and graphic design projects for major brands such as Cartier or Apple Music, the artist finds a new freedom in the creation of tangible works. Composed of a dozen unseen works, Brave New World is the artist’s first exhibition at the gallery.