Yue Minjun, Chinese Avant-Garde Artist: Vancouver Biennale
Yue Minjun was born in Beijing, China in 1962.
He is one of the most important artists of the Chinese avant-garde. He lives and works in Beijing and is part of the key movement of the post-1989 era in Chinese avant-garde art: Cynical Realism.
Yue Minjun's works are instantly recognizable by the characteristic laughing figure, actually representing the artist himself, depicted in various guises in virtually all his works.
The figure has more teeth than one could possibly want, like the expensive smiles of fashion models advertising the latest whitening power of a toothpaste brand.
Yue Minjun's trademark smile is many things at once. It is hilarious and infectious yet cynical and mocking. It appears superficial, mindless - even ridiculous - but is deeply revealing and compelling.*
Besides the art that has been embraced in his native China and internationally, Yue Minujun's work has started to seep into the North American consciousness. I came across this freshly designed book cover for Five Spice Street by Chinese writer Can Xue at the Book Design Review tonight and was struck again by the power of his work. So expressive and mysterious.
The Vancouver Biennale is happy to have several of Yue Minjun's sculptures of his 'characteristic laughing figures' en route to the city for the exhibition. They're going to be incredibly infectious and popular, I know that for sure.
To see more of Minjun's amazing art work in all forms please check out his Flickr account.
* This biographical material was taken from the excellent Museum of Chinese Contemporary Art on the Web.