February 3, 2016 by Laura Gomez


Yue Minjun (1962) Born in Daqing, Heilongjiang province, China. Lives and works in Beijing.

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.


Yue Min Jun: Sculptures And Paintings, Schoeni Art Gallery, Hong Kong

Yue Min Jun: Beijing Ironicals, Prüss & Ochs Gallery, Berlin, Germany
Yue Min Jun, Meile Gallery, Switzerland

Soaking In Silly Laughter: One Of Art Singapore 2002, Soobin Art Gallery, Singapore
Yue Min Jun: Handling, One World Art Center, China

Red Ocean: Yue Min Jun, Chinese Contemporary, London, Uk


Guangju Biennale 2004, Korea
Shanghai Biennale 2004, China
China, The Body Everywhere?, Maseille Museum Of Contemporary Art, France
20 Years Of Hanart, Tz Gallery, Hong Kong Art Center
Art On The Beach, Enrico Navarra Gallery, Paris, France

From China With Art, Edwin Gallery & Indonesia National Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia
The Rest Of The World, Neuffer Am Park, Pirmasens, Germany
Neue Kunsthalle Mannheim 2, Kunsthalle Mannheim, Germany
Cp Open Biennale 2003, Indonesia National Gallery, Jakarta, Indonesia
People And People: Chinese Modern And Contemporary Art Collections Of Gdma, Guangdong Museum Of Art(Gdma), Guangzhou, China
Living Conditions: Selections From The Gdma Collection Of Contemporary Chinese Art, Gdma, Guangzhou, China

Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition: Red Land, China; Gwangju Art Museum, Korea
Korea And Chinese Painting 2002: New Expression, Seoul Culture & Art Center, Korea
Chinese Contemporary Art, Rekjavik Art Museum, Iceland
A Point In Time-Changsha, Beauty Art Museum, Changsha, China
The First Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Museum Of Art, China
Inaugural Exhibition: Contemporary Terracotta Warriors, The Esplanade, Singapore
Golden Harvest: Chinese Contemporary Exhibition, Croatia National Art Museum, Croatia

Ornament And Abstractiono, Foundation Beyeler, Switzerland
Hotpot: Chinese Contemporary Art, Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo, Norway
Towards An New Image: Twenty Years Of Contemporary Chinese Painting, National Art Museum, Beijing; Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai; Sichuan Art Museum, Chendu; Guangdong Art Museum, Guangzhou, China
Song Zhuang, Staedtische Galerie Im Buntentor Bremen & Kunstverein Ludwigshafen, Germany

Between Chengdu Upriver Residence, Kunming Upriver Club, China
Portraits Of Chinese Contemporaries, The Culture Center Of Francois Mitterrand, France
Our Friends, Bauhaus University Art Gallery, Weimar, Germany

“Transparence, Opacite?: 14 Chinese Contemporary Artists, France, Italy
Open Channels: The First Collecting Exhibition Of Dongyu Museum Of Fine Arts, Dongyu Museum, Shenyang, China
New Modernism For A New Millennium: Works By Contemporary Asian Artists From The Logan Collection, Linn Gallery, San Francisco, Usa

The Grand Tour, Chinese Contemporary, London, England.
The First Exhibition Of The Upriver Gallery Collection, He Xiangning Art Gallery, Shenzhen, China.
It’s Me!-A Profile Of Chinese Contemporary Art In The 90s, Forbidden City & Tai Miao, Beijing, China.
Beijing Prediction: Contemporary Art Of China, Beijing, China

Quotation Marks: Chinese Contemporary Paintings, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore
China Now, Tokyo, Japan; Basel, Switzerland.

China!, Bonn Art Museum, Germany; Kuenstlerhaus, Wien, Austria
Art To Swatch, Take Part In The Design Of “The 1996 Artist Collection ” Of Swatch

Vision Of China: Contemporary Chinese Painting By Chinese Masters, Pacific City Club, Bangkok, Thailand
Contemporary Chinese Oil Painting Exhibition: From Realism To Post-Modernism, Theoremes Gallery, Brussels, Belgium

Faces Behind The Bamboo Curtain: Works Of Yue Min Jun And Yang Shao Bin, Schoeni Art Gallery, Hong Kong

Yuan Ming Yuan Artists Exhibition, Yuan Ming Yuan, Beijing, China

Contemporary Modern Art Exhibition, Beijing Friendship Guest House, China

S, Art Exhibition, Hebei Museum, China

Source: saatchigallery