Lives and Works: Beijing
“Huang Yan has made his career at the outer limits of Chinese landscape painting. Instead of paper scrolls, he paints on everything from human bodies to furniture, musical instruments, even a leg of ham. It’s his classically trained wife, Zhang Tiemei, who executes the paintings; Huang Yan, a sometime poet, comes up with the concepts and photographs the results.” - White Rabbit Collection
Huang Yan is best-known of his series works for which he paints traditional Chinese landscape paintings on a human body. As the body moves, the painting takes another form and meaning. In Chinese culture, nudity and the human body are considered as taboo, whilst landscapes symbolize the intellectual values of the erudite class. Painting landscapes on a human body challenges the perception of traditional Chinese art, as well as reexamining the intricate relationship between man and the natural world. This concept is especially in Taoism, a religion that the artist practises.
Born in 1966 in Jilin, China, Huang Yan exhibited at the monumental ‘Post-89’ exhibition in London (1994), ‘Fuck Off’ exhibition in Shanghai (2000), Guangzhou Triennial at Guangdong Museum of Art (2002), International Center of Photography in New York (2004), Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2004), Casoria Contemporary Art Museum (2005), Museum of Art Lucerne (2011), and The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2013).
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