Ernst A. Busche

In her “art about art”, Jinny Yu spreads the poetry of the conceptual  before us. Here we find, as in a textbook, many of those aspects that artists and theoreticians have always occupied. In doing so, Jinny Yu works with remarkably small resources: Essentially, the works consist of aluminum, mirrors and oil paint, in some cases supplemented by polyester foils. The color is reduced to a – though lively – gray-beige. Aspects to which the artist devotes include:

• Reflection of the world: Already the support, consisting of mirrors and aluminium, addresses this basic theme of traditional painting. In addition the aluminium with its slightly blurring effect raises the question as to how definite a painterly reflection can be.
• Illusion: The creation of illusion is one of the central issues of painting; a symbol for this is Jinny Yu’s use of the mirror. In view of the multiple reflections of the non-painting painting mounted on the corner, we hardly know at which level of reflection we are, where exactly the corner picture of Malevich quoted here actually lies.

• Expressive vs. constructive: Jinny Yu solves this old conflict in painting (once the battle between colore and disegno) by deliberately designing her brush work: she keeps the balance between expressive subjectivity and perfect control.


• Pictorial space: By means of her reflecting supports Jinny Yu answers one of the central issues of Western painting since the Renaissance. What could create a more perfect illusionary space than a mirror? 

• Image carrier: With a mirror Jinny Yu in a way dissolves the traditional support, it is visible and invisible at the same time. In her works made of thin, free-floating polyester foil support and “image” unite in one object.

• Color: In the reduction to gray, beige and black lies – as its opposite – the abundance of all rainbow colors, both in the imagination as well as in reality, because the reflective surfaces of the support mirror our colorful environment.

Oscillating between painting, sculpture and relief, Jinny Yu’s work dissolves the traditional categories. And the artist turns to the genres, her Studiowork # 37 can be seen as an ironic citation of one the most beloved types of painting, the still life. And, not to forget, the wall. It is an eternal theme as well, stretching from support (for wall paintings or frescos) to the place to hang a painting to the inclusion in the work of art, as it happens when a plate of glass leans against the wall and a painted frame surrounds this (Painting=Subject+Boundary): immediately the entire wall – and thus the complete environment – is part of the work.

Among Jinny Yu’s central points of reference are – besides Malevich – the painters of the New York School, particularly Barnett Newman and Ad Reinhardt with their quest for the “ultimate painting”, the black endpoint of their métier. Jinny Yu, however, uses this concept as a starting point for a new, further stage of painting. The “heroic” Jackson Pollock – epitome of the macho artist – is quoted by the video Number 37 with – rather filigree, “female” – paint splattering. The most recent works continue the approach of “art about art” and the poetry of the conceptual and explore the connection between pictorial abbreviations and their interpretation. Make two strokes a walking figure, where are they mowing, what is their goal? What story do we associate with a curtain that wafts far out of the window? And to which interpretations do titles lead us? We do not need answers to these questions, it is enough that we ask them.