Yu Youhan (1943 Shanghai) is a key figure in the Political Pop movement. He currently lives and work in Shanghai.
In 1973, after graduating from the Central Academy of Arts and Crafts in Beijing, Yu became a teacher at the Shanghai College of Arts and Crafts.
Along with LI Shan, YU Youhan is one of the main artists of Political Pop who emerged in the avant-garde movement in the 1990's, fusing Chinese iconography and Western artistic expression. His work has had a major impact on the cultural scene, and influenced and inspired a generation of younger artists. YU Youhan's earlier work is directly influenced by his experiences during the Cultural Revolution, with prominent imagery of political propaganda and socialist realism. Before constructing this pictorial universe, he practiced an informal and materialist abstraction. His work unravels and reconstructs the meandering histories of diverse environments. YU Youhan employs an aesthetic methodology that blends and exceeds seemingly contradictory visual traditions. He earned fame with his highly acclaimed Mao portrait series.
Yu’s works have appeared in many international exhibitions, including the 45th Venice Biennale (1993), the ‘China Avant-Garde Exhibition’ (Germany, 1993) and the 22nd Sao Paulo Biennial (1994), to name a few.