“I do not paint to resolve my feelings, but simply to express them.”
Song Yige is a Chinese painter who imposes a nostalgia for childhood upon an eclectic range of subjects drawn from the everyday.
As Song told the art critic and writer My metaphor for the choice of subjects I make is that of a department store. When I choose a subject for my work, it comes from my eyes and instinct. I am simply drawn to certain things, just as you are in a shop. I usually favor architectural environments as settings for my work because it is more suitable to represent a locked-up, closed, lonely feeling. I have painted a few natural scenes, but not many. It is not that appropriate to what I’m trying to show. I often paint old, worn, everyday objects because I feel that these things have a story and a history. I like that; I rarely paint new things.”
And whilst mostly depicting the well-worn a certain childish wonder adds an extra dimension to Song’s works.
About which she says “I like to present my memories from childhood, so some images from that time feature classrooms or the streets I frequented back then. When I was a kid, I thought these places very big, wide and open. But later, I moved out of the city. When I returned I had grown up – I drove my own car. I discovered I could not even drive down those same streets, for everything was too small. I want to represent in my paintings the childhood feeling of things being much bigger and more empty. To some extent, my work is autobiographical.”
Becoming an artist is the realization of the reclusive Song’s childhood dream. With her parents often absent Song pursued her interest in drawing with a dogged determination.
As she told Sotheby’s Eye on Asia Blog “All children love sweets, but I’d give up sweets for watercolor brushes and drawing papers.”
After graduating from Shenyang’s Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts the 27-year-old Song moved to Beijing to continue the pursuit of her dream about which she says “Sometimes creating art is a delight, sometimes it’s tough. Being able to successfully manage an artwork to completion is such a joy.”
Now eight years later, on the occasion of her first European exhibition, Song told Luxury London’s Katy Parker “I have worked to develop a style of painting that is distinctly my own with a strong visual identity. I am very interested in classical ideals of representational painting, as well as evoking Western figurative artists – though this influence is subtle.”
Song’s self-titled exhibition is currently on show at London’s Marlborough Fine Art until the 27th of February.