Yang Jiechang

1956, Foshan China

Introduction

For many artists the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and the subsequent purges signaled the end of inquiry into and exchange with the West. However, Yang Jiechang was fortunate enough to spend his time learning classical Chinese from reading prohibited materials as a member of the Red Guard. Born in 1956 in Foshan, Guangdong, he began studying Chinese ink painting and calligraphy at the People’s Art Institute in Foshan. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, he attended the Guangzhou Art Academy where he was exposed to Western art through a lecture series given by Joan Lebold Cohen (the noted Chinese art historian and curator) and Taiwanese art magazines. In 1989, he was chosen to participate in Magiciens de la Terre, at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, and his series “Hundred Layers of Ink” caused quite the stir at the exhibition and in the international art scene. The paintings from this series are the result of focused repetition, and Yang applied ink to the same piece each day, every day until the paper became completely saturated. Since then, Yang has lived and worked in Paris, producing an oeuvre that varies in style, medium and inspirations. He has had numerous major exhibitions across China, Europe and the North America.

As part of Le French May, Alice King guest curated his solo exhibition at the Museum and Art Gallery, the University of Hong Kong in 2001, and again in 2015 as part of Le French May, Alisan Fine Arts held an exhibition at the Hong Kong Central Library for the artist, documenting his artistic career. In 2017, we had his solo exhibition at Alisan Central and included his works in Art Basel Hong Kong and Art021 Shanghai.

His paintings were included in Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2014. He has participated in the Venice Biennial, Lyon Biennial, Liverpool Biennial, Gwangju Biennial, Shanghai Biennial, Guangzhou Triennale and Shenzhen Ink Biennial. His works have been collected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Rockefeller Foundation, United States; Contemporary Art Foundation of the French Cultural Centre, Centre Pompidou, Paris; Hong Kong Museum of Art; M+, Hong Kong to name a few.





BIOGRAPHY

1956  Born Foshan, Guangdong, China

1974 – 1978  Studied paper mounting, folk art, calligraphy and traditional Chinese painting at the Foshan Folk Art Institute, Foshan, Guangdong, China

1978 – 1982  Studied traditional Chinese painting at the Fine Arts Academy of Guangzhou, China

1982 – 1989  Taught at the Fine Arts Academy of Guangzhou, China

1984 – 1986  Studied Daosim with Master Huangtao at Mount Luofu, Guangzhou and studied Zen Buddhism at Guangxiao Temple, Guangzhou, China

1989  Moved to Europe to live and work in Paris, France and Heidelberg, Germany

1992 – 1993  Fellowship, Pollock-Krasner Foundation, New York, USA

2003 – Present Residency at the Kunst Werke in Berlin, sponsored by French AFAA and German government

2005  Visiting artist at Stanford University (February)

2008  Sterling visiting scholar at the Stanford University Medical School, Department of Chemical and Systems Biology
2016  Documentary film “Yang Jiechang’s Gu and Qi,” in the series "The Enduring Passion of Ink", directed and produced by Britta Erickson and filmed by Richard Widmer

Present  Lives and works in Paris (France) and Ittlingen (Germany)

 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2018      

  • Six Two Zen, Tang Contemporary Art, Beijing, China

2017        

2016      

  • Yang Jiechang: I Often Do Bad Things, Phoenixhallen/Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Germany

2015      

2014      

  • Yang Jiechang: This is Still Landscape Painting, Ink Studio, Beijing, China

2012      

  • Tale of the 11th Day, OCT Art & Design Gallery, Shenzhen, China

2011      

  • Stranger than Paradise, La Criée, Centre d’art Contemporain, Rennes, France

2010      

  • Underground Flowers, Musée d’Histoire Naturelle de Rouen, Festival Automne en Normandie, Rouen, France

2009      

  • On Ascension, Galerie Jaeger Bucher, Paris, France
  • Territoria, special project, Associazione Culturale Cantiere d’Arte Alberto Moretti-Galleria Schema, Prato, Italy

2008      

  • No – Shadow Kick, Duolun Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai, China
  • Venice Biennial, Tibetan Pavilion, Edicola Notte, Rome, Italy
  • In God We Trust, Stanford University Medical School, Stanford, California, USA

2007      

  • The Most Beautiful Country of China, Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong

2005      

  • Hei Ji Sheng Xiang, Shenzhen Painting Institute, Shenzhen, China
  • Who Occupies the Space?, Isola Art Center, Milan, Italy

2003      

  • Lookchat, Centre A, Vancouver, Canada
  • For Emily, 4A Gallery, Sydney, Australia

2002      

  • Der längste Tag, Kunstverein Nürtingen, Nürtingen, Germany

2001      

  • Enlightened Blackness: Ink Paintings by Yang Jiechang, Le French May, curated by Alice King, University Museum and Art Gallery, the University of Hong Kong; Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong

2000      

  • You - Double View, Project Room, ARCO 2000, Madrid, Spain

1999      

  • Another Turn of the Screw, Gallery of Central Fine Arts Academy, Beijing, China

1998      

  • Your Customs – Our Customs, Altes Zollamt, Frankfurt, Germany

1994      

  • Cut the Fingernails from My Body, Espace d’Art Contemporain Le Faubourg, Strasbourg, France

1993      

  • Rencontres dans un couloir, private apartment of Hou Hanru, Paris, France

1992      

  • Troisième demeure mondiale, Frankfurt, Germany

1991      

  • Works on Paper, Frith Street Gallery, London, UK

1990      

  • Voyage au Mexique, Centro Cultural Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City, Mexico

1986      

  • Xinghe Exhibition, Central Park Gallery, Guangdong Artists Association, Guangzhou, China

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2018       

  • Beyond Ink, China Art Museum, Shanghai, China

  • Ink Worlds: Contemporary Chinese Painting from the Collection of Akiko Yamakazi and Jerry Yang, The Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University, Palo Alto, US

  • Presence and Absence: Nature in French Landscape Garden and Chinese Garden, Boxes Art Museum, Foshan, China       

2017       

2016        

2015      

2014      

  • Advance through Retreat, Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, China
  • China’s Changing Landscape, Nordic Watercolor Museum, Skärhamn, Sweden

2013      

  • Zizhiqu/ Autonomous Regions, Times Museum, Guangzhou, China
  • From Gesture to Language, Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, China
  • Yuandao, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong
  • Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA

2012      

  • Reactivation - Shanghai Biennial, Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China
  • Sehnsucht, Castel Gaasbeeck, Leenik, Belgium
  • Clouds, The Museum of Sketches - Archives of Public Art, Lund, Sweden

2011      

  • The World Belongs to You, Palazzo Grassi, Foundation F. Pinault, Venice, Italy
  • Death Matters, Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Tracing the Milky Way, Tang Contemporary Art Center, Beijing, China     

2010      

  • Hareng Saur: Ensor et l’art contemporain, MSK and S.M.A.K., Ghent, Belgium
  • L’Océan, Espace Bellevue, Biarritz, France
  • Le Jardin Emprunté, Jardin du Palais-Royal, Paris, France
  • Thirty years of Contemporary Chinese Art, Minsheng Museum, Shanghai, China

2009      

  • Against Exclusion - 3rd Moscow Biennial, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia
  • 10th Lyon Biennale: The Spectacle of the Everyday, Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon, Lyon, France
  • Qui a peur des artistes? Une sélection d’œuvres de la Fondation François Pinault, Musée de Dinard, Dinard, France      
  • Becoming Intense, Becoming Animal, Becoming…, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany
  • Hong Kong International Art and Antiques Fair, Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong

2008      

  • Onda Anomala – Manifesta 7, Trento, Italy
  • Too Early For Vacation, RV&A, Limerick, Ireland
  • 3rd Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China
  • Our Future, special project, UCCA, Beijing, China
  • Hong Kong Art: Open Dialogue Exhibition Series II – New Ink Art: Innovation and Beyond, curated by Alice King, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong

2007      

  • Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Metamorphosis - The Generation of Transformation in Chinese Contemporary Art, Tampere Art Museum, Tampere, Finland
  • Made in China, Louisiana Museum, Kopenhagen, Denmark
  • New Wave ’85, UCCA, Beijing, China

2006      

  • Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool, UK
  • Laboratoires pour un avenir incertain, La Force de l’Art - 1st Paris Triennial, Grand Palais, Paris, France
  • La revoluzione siamo noi, Isola Art Center, Milan, Italy
  • Micro-Macro Politics, Macau Museum of Art, Macau
  • 5th Shenzhen International Ink Biennial: Taste, Guan Shanyue Art Museum, Shenzhen, China
  • Capolavoro, Palazzo di Primavera, Terni, Rome, Italy
  • Infiltration – Idylls and Visions, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China

2005      

  • Beyond, 2nd Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China
  • Layered Landscapes, Stanford Art Gallery, Stanford, USA
  • Biennial of Emergency, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France
  • Experimental Ink, Museum of the University of Science, Taipei and Taichung, Taiwan

2004      

  • La Nuit Blanche, Paris, France
  • Le moine et le démon, Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon, Lyon, France
  • A l’est du sud de l’ouest, Villa Arson, Nice; Credac Sète, France
  • Odyssey(s) 2004, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China
  • All Under Heaven, Muhka (Museum of Modern Art), Antwerp, Belgium

2003      

  • Zone of Urgency, 50th Venice Biennial, Venice, Italy

2002      

  • Shenzhen Ink Biennial, Shenzhen Painting Institute, Shenzhen, China
  • 1st Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China
  • Pause: Gwangju Biennial, Gwangju, South Korea                            

2001      

  • 20 Main Chinese Painters, National Art Museum of China, Bejing; Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China
  • China: 20 Years of Ink Experiment, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China

2000      

  • Paris pour Escale, Musée d’art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France
  • Fuori Uso – The Bridges, Pescara, Italy

1999      

  • Asiart 99 - Biennale d’arte contemporanea, Museum of Contemporary Art Genova, Genova, Italy

1998      

  • Les magiciens de la terre, Anina Nosei Gallery, New York, USA
  • 2nd Shanghai International Biennial, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China

1997      

  • In Between Limits, Sonje Museum of Contemporary Art, Kyongju, Korea

1996      

  • East-West, Heidelberger Kunstverein, Heidelberg, Germany

1995      

  • Hölderlinturm, Hölderlinturm, Tübingen, Germany

1994      

  • Out of the Centre, Museum of Modern Art, Pori, Finland

1993      

  • Coalition, Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, UK
  • Silent Energy, Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, UK
  • Construction in Process No. 4 - My Home is your Home, The Artists’ Museum, Lodz, Poland
  • Mao’s Untamed Children, Museum für Kunsthandwerk, Frankfurt, Germany

1992      

  • The Artists’ Museum, Lodz, Poland
  • History of the Rocket, The Tree of Life - A Journey to Asian Contemporary Art, Saitama Museum of Modern Art, Saitama, Japan

1991      

  • Exceptional Passage, Museum City Project, Fukuoka, Japan

1990      

  • Centro Cultural Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Chine demain pour hier, Pourrières, France

1989      

  • China/Avantgarde, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China
  • Les Magiciens de la Terre, Centre d’Art Moderne Georges Pompidou, Paris, France

 

SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA

Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, USA

The Rockefeller Foundation, New York, USA

Contemporary Art Foundation of the French Cultural Centre, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France

French Television Channel Canal +, France

François Pinault Foundation, France

Lausanne Museum, Switzerland

Ullens Foundation, Switzerland

Fukuoka Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan

Sonje Museum of Contemporary Art, Kyongju, Korea

Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China

Yageo Art Foundation, Taiwan

Eslite Inc., Taiwan

Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong

University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
M+, Hong Kong

 
God created the world the rest is made in China (Chinese)
2014 | 71 × 121 cm | Chinese ink & acrylic on canvas
God Created the World, The Rest is Made in China (English)
2014 | 71x121cm | Chinese ink & acrylic on canvas
Everything is OK
2008 | 104x103cm/41x40 1/2" | Chinese ink & acrylic on paper
Double View 7
2000 | 102x98cm/40x38 1/2
Double View
2000 | 99.5x102cm/39 1/4x40" | Ink & Arcylic on xuan paper, Korean paper
This is still Flower Painting 1911-2011, AG04
2010-2013 | 50x50x50cm; 96x70cm; 25x35cm | Porcelain with wooden mural support; Chinese ink & mineral colour on silk; watercolour on paper
This is still Flower Painting 1909-2013, AF01
2013 | ca. 70x60x60cm, 96x70cm, 25x35cm | porcelain, with wooden pedestal, meticulour colour painting, oil painting
This is still Flower Painting 1911-2011, AG06
2014 | 96x70cm; 35x25cm | Chinese ink & mineral colour on silk mounted on canvas; watercolour on paper
This is still Flower Painting 1911-2011, AG08
2011 | Diameter c.20cm; 40x30cm; 25x35cm | Porcelain; Chinese ink & mineral colour on silk mounted on canvas; watercolour on paper
This is still Flower Painting 1911-2011, AG07
2012 | Porcelain: ca.40x25cm; meticulous color painting: 40x30cm; drawing: 25x35cm | Porcelain; Chinese ink & mineral colour on silk; Pencil drawing
Mustard Seed Garden-Young man with Leopard
2012-2015 | 156.5x95cmx2 | Chinese ink & mineral colour on silk mounted on canvas
Stranger Than Paradise-Autumn Moon
2013 | 95.5x121.5cm | Chinese ink & mineral colour on silk mounted on canvas
Xuanzai ink
1992-1996 | 137x99cm/54x39" | Chinese ink on xuan paper, gauze
Circular Sky and Square Earth I
1992-98 | 50x60cm/20x23 1/2" | Chinese ink on xuan paper, gauze