For many artists the founding of the People's Republic of China, and the subsequent purges signaled the end of inquiry into and exchange with the West. However, Yang Jiechang was fortunate enough to spend his time learning classical Chinese from reading prohibited materials as a member of the Red Guard. Born in 1956 in Foshan, Guangdong, he began studying Chinese ink painting and calligraphy at the People's Art Institute in Foshan. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, he attended the Guangzhou Art Academy where he was exposed to Western art through a lecture series given by Joan Lebold Cohen (the noted Chinese art historian and curator) and Taiwanese art magazines. In 1989, he was chosen to participate in Magiciens de la Terre, at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, and his series "Hundred Layers of Ink" caused quite the stir at the exhibition and in the international art scene. The paintings from this series are the result of focused repetition, and Yang applied ink to the same piece each day, every day until the paper became completely saturated. Since then, Yang has lived and worked in Paris, producing an oeuvre that varies in style, medium and inspirations. He has had numerous major exhibitions across China, Europe and the North America.Read More
As part of Le French May, Alice King guest curated his solo exhibition at the Museum and Art Gallery, the University of Hong Kong in 2001, and again in 2015 as part of Le French May, Alisan Fine Arts held an exhibition at the Hong Kong Central Library for the artist, documenting his artistic career. In 2017, we had his solo exhibition at Alisan Central and included his works in Art Basel Hong Kong and Art021 Shanghai.
His paintings were included in Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2014. He has participated in the Venice Biennale, Lyon Biennale, Liverpool Biennale, Gwangju Biennale, Shanghai Biennale, Guangzhou Triennale and Shenzhen Ink Biennial. His works have been collected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Rockefeller Foundation, United States; Contemporary Art Foundation of the French Cultural Centre, Centre Pompidou, Paris; Hong Kong Museum of Art; M+, Hong Kong to name a few.
Text courtesy Alisan Fine Arts.
It is easy to understand why someone who grew up during the Cultural Revolution might have a darker view of the world. That seems to be true of Chinese artist Yang Jiechang, who says: "We live in a time of conflict and unpredictable change, where feelings of insecurity and disorientation prevail." Not that Yang thinks the world is...
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