Selected works by Yue Minjun

Yue Minjun
Untitled

2005

Oil on canvas

220.3 x 200 cm
Immediately humorous and sympathetic, Yue Minjun’s paintings offer a light-hearted approach to philosophical enquiry and contemplation of existence. Drawing connotations to the disparate images of the Laughing Buddha and the inane gap toothed grin of Alfred E. Newman, Yue’s self-portraits have been describe by theorist Li Xianting as “a self-ironic response to the spiritual vacuum and folly of modern-day China.”

Often basing his compositions on well known European masterpieces and iconic Chinese art, Yue subverts the grandiose aura of art history through his adaptation of pop aesthetics. Using both the exaggerated expressiveness of cartooning and the stylistic rendering of graphic illustration, Yue depicts his cloned doppelgangers as contorted and grotesque, all scalded pink skin and maniacal toothy cackles.

The acidic tones and commercialised vacuity of his works are used to underscore the insincerity of his figures’ mirth. As both antagonists and anti-heroes, Yue’s hysterical cohorts equally bully the viewer and stand as subjects of ridicule. Using laughter as a denotation of violence and vulnerability, Yue’s paintings balance a zeitgeist of modern day anxiety with an Eastern philosophical ethos, positing the response to the
Yue Minjun
Backyard Garden

2005

Oil on canvas

280 x 400 cm
Immediately humorous and sympathetic, Yue Minjun’s paintings offer a light-hearted approach to philosophical enquiry and contemplation of existence. Drawing connotations to the disparate images of the Laughing Buddha and the inane gap toothed grin of Alfred E. Newman, Yue’s self-portraits have been describe by theorist Li Xianting as “a self-ironic response to the spiritual vacuum and folly of modern-day China.”

Often basing his compositions on well known European masterpieces and iconic Chinese art, Yue subverts the grandiose aura of art history through his adaptation of pop aesthetics. Using both the exaggerated expressiveness of cartooning and the stylistic rendering of graphic illustration, Yue depicts his cloned doppelgangers as contorted and grotesque, all scalded pink skin and maniacal toothy cackles.

The acidic tones and commercialised vacuity of his works are used to underscore the insincerity of his figures’ mirth. As both antagonists and anti-heroes, Yue’s hysterical cohorts equally bully the viewer and stand as subjects of ridicule. Using laughter as a denotation of violence and vulnerability, Yue’s paintings balance a zeitgeist of modern day anxiety with an Eastern philosophical ethos, positing the response to the true nature of reality as an endless cynical guffaw.

Other Resources

artfacts.net
Additional information on Yue Minjun

the-artists.org
Modern and contemporary artists and art – Yue Minjun

chinesecontemporary.com
Yue Minjun, with Fang Lijun, is one of the most important Beijing-based artists of the Chinese avant garde. He is part of the key movement of the post-1989 era in Chinese avant garde art - Cynical Realism.

chinesecontemporary.com
Images from the work of Yue Minjun

artnet.com
Yue Minjun on artnet

shanghart.com
In the early 1990s Yue Mingjun was part of the artistic community at Yuan Ming Yuan. This area on the outskirts of Beijing is a large park where young artists from all over China rented cheap housing from the local farmers. Apart from the low rents, the place had the great advantage of being for from the attentive eye of the authority.

willow88.com
A selection of alternative images by Yue Minjun

pyoart.com
The Paintings, sculptures and installations of Yue Minjun always feature uniform laughing faces. And if these laughing faces are observed carefully, it will be noticed that these faces are the face of Yue Minjun.

theartnewspaper.com
Speculation inflates Chinese contemporary art prices
But condition problems and manipulation of supply are warning signals
By Jonathan Napack and Charmaine Picard