written by Francios Jullien
Founation Cartier | ISBN 9782869250994
Hardback – 276 pages
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Born in 1962 in the city of Daqing in Heilongjiang Province in China, Yue Minjun is an icon of contemporary Chinese painting. Considered one of the protagonists of Cynical Realism, an art movement that emerged after the student demonstrations in Tiananmen Square in 1989, he began developing his own distinctive iconography in the 1990s, which combines pictorial references with historical references. Yue Minjuns paintings are immediately recognizable: they are painted in bright colours on large canvases and peopled almost exclusively by laughing male figures, all which are self-portraits presented either as a single figure or replicated over and over again to form a battalion of grinning frozen-faced clones. These figures appear in grotesque poses or in mock execution scenes, creating an atmosphere of tension that oscillates between the lighthearted and the outrageous, the mundane and the excessive, offering an often implicit parody of contemporary Chinese society. Moving back and forth between homage and irony, Yue Minjun takes an audacious look both at the world of images and at contemporary society. His participation in the Venice Biennale in 1999 brought him worldwide fame and opened the doors of the international art market to him. Today, Yue Minjun is considered one of the most influential artists of his generation.
Artist: Yue Minjun