Further Biographical Context for Chitfu Yu
Born in 1943, Chitfu Yu's creative work was largely inspired by the 1960s. The universal impact of the 1960s was truly astonishing across the globe. Representative of a time inspiring both hope and anger, the 1960s prompted an explosion of cutting-edge ideologies and movements, truly exciting and ground-breaking. Historically established in the context of the Cold War, which would have a highly powerful impact globally, mainly defined by the Iron Curtain separating Europe both physically and spiritually, and drastically marked by the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The 1960s re-defined all pre-existing expectations on gender, race and justice, questioned education as well as morality and selfhood – for instance through the civil rights movement and second wave of feminism, as well as student political uprisings. The significant boom of mass consumerism also defined the era, generating new trends in marketing and advertising. Minimalism established the crucial idea that art should subsist in its own reality, and not try to mimic the physical world. Born of a desire to obliterate all pre-established notions about art, Minimalism became a radically progressive movement, highly influential worldwide, with artists such as Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Dan Flavin as key figures. Minimalism became significant through the works of artists such as Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley, while Pop art was a fundamental by-product of the latter, at the same time critiquing and glorifying popular culture. The iconic contemporary art movements that reverberated through the wave of radicalism of the 1960s also had their own nuances and scopes, particular to different regions or countries. Spatialism, for instance, was established in Italy by Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni, and its ideologies embraced by the Zero group in Germany. Across Europe, the ideologies of Existentialism strongly influenced artists like Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti, who strived to depict the raw human emotions often associated with reflections on death and the lingering anxiety of the meaninglessness of life.