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 reviewing ancient texts and distinguishing between fragrant flowers and poisonous plants as a member of the Red Guard. Yang Jiechang was born in 1956 in Foshan, Guangdong. After graduating from high school, he began studying Chinese ink painting and calligraphy at the Foshan Folk Art Institute in Guangdong. in 1978, he attended the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts 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. After graduating in 1982, Yang stayed at the academy as a teacher and also engaged in long-term research on Chinese art history under Professor Chen Shaofeng (1923-1997). In 1989, he was chosen to participate in Magiciens de la Terre, at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. At the event, he created his large-scale “Hundred Layers of Ink” series  which caused quite the stir 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 in France and Heidelberg in Germany. His artistic style, materials, and inspirations are diverse, encompassing various art mediums such as painting, calligraphy, ceramics, installations, performance art, and video.

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, Art 021 Shanghai and Asia Now in Paris.


In recent years, his paintings were showcased in numerous major museums, such as A Blueprint for Ruins, White Rabbit Gallery, Sydney, Australia, 2023-2024; Ink in Motion: A History of Chinese Painting in the 20th Century, Cernuschi Museum, Paris, France 2022-2023; Ethnological Collections and Asian Art, Humboldt Forum, Berlin, Germany, 2021-2022; Ink Dreams: Selections from the Fondation INK Collection, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, USA, 2021; Ink City, Tai Kwun, Hong Kong, 2021; Arts of China, Arts of Asia Gallery, Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA, 2019; Ink Worlds: Contemporary Chinese Painting from the Collection of Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang, The Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University, Palo Alto, USA, 2018; Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA, 2013-2014. 

He has also participated in the Venice Biennial, Lyon Biennial, Liverpool Biennial, Gwangju Biennial, Shanghai Biennial, Chengdu Biennale, Wuhan Ink Biennale, Guangzhou Triennale and Shenzhen Ink Biennial. His monumental work from the "Tale of the 11th Day" series is currently on show in M+ as part of an exhibition Shanshui: Echoes and Signals.

 

His works have been collected by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Brooklyn Museum, New York; Rockefeller Foundation, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Berkeley Art Museum, California, USA; Contemporary Art Foundation of the French Cultural Centre, Centre Pompidou, Paris; Cernuschi Museum, Paris, France; Ullens Foundation, Switzerland; Fukuoka Art Museum, Japan; Sonje Museum of Contemporary Art, Kyongju, South Korea; Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China; Yageo Art Foundation, Taiwan; Hong Kong Museum of Art; M+, Hong Kong; University Museum and Art Gallery,  University of 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 Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, China
1982 – 1989    Taught at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, China
Engaged in long-term research on Chinese art history under Professor Chen Shaofeng (1923-1997)
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    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
2021    Listed in Chinese Ink Art Year Book 2020Culture and Art Publisher, Beijing, China
Present    Lives and works in Paris, France and Heidelberg, Germany

 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2024      

2022      

  • Carte Blanche à Yang Jiechang, Guimet Museum, Paris, France

2021      

  • Yang Jiechang: Tale of the 11th Day, Galerie de Sèvres, Paris, France

2019      

  • 3 Souls 7 Spirits, Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, China
  • From Heaven to Hell, Beyond Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan
  • Yang Jiechang, Taipei Dangdai, Nangang Exhibition Centre, Taipei, Taiwan

2018      

  • Six Two Zen, Tang Contemporary Art, Beijing, China
  • Seed Garden, Boxes Art Museum, Foshan, 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, 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

2024-2025      

  • Shanshui: Echoes and Signals, M+, Hong Kong

2023-2024     

  • A Blueprint for Ruins, White Rabbit Gallery, Sydney, Australia
  • Delight in the Invisible: Abstract Narrative of Momentary, Ming Yuan Art Museum, Shanghai, China

2023      

  • Chengdu Biennale: Time Gravity, Chengdu Art Museum, Chengdu, China

2022-2023      

  • Ink in Motion: A History of Chinese Painting in the 20th Century, Cernuschi Museum, Paris, France

2022      

2021-2022      

  • Ethnological Collections and Asian Art, Humboldt Forum, Berlin, Germany

2021      

  • Ink Dreams: Selections from the Fondation INK Collection, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, USA

  • Ink City, Tai Kwun, Hong Kong

2020       

  • Ink Sky: Exhibition of Chinese Ink Art Year Book 2020, An Art Museum, Beijing, China
  • Waves and Echoes: A Process of Re-contemporarization in Chinese Art Circa 1987 Revisited, Inside-out Art Museum, Beijing, China

2019      

  • 10th International Ink Art Biennial of Shenzhen: Ink at Current, Shenzhen Fine Art Institute, Shenzhen, China
  • 5th Collector's Contemporary Collaboration, Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong

2018       

  • Beyond Ink: 20th China Shanghai International Arts Festival Program, China Art Museum, Shanghai, China

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

2017       

2016        

2015      

2014      

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

2013-2014       

  • Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA

2013      

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      

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
  • Ding Yi, Shen Fan, Yang Jiechang, Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong

2008      

2007      

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      

  • French Diaspora, Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong
  • 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
Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA
Rockefeller Foundation, New York, USA
Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, USA
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, USA
Contemporary Art Foundation of the French Cultural Centre, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
Cernuschi Museum, Paris, France
French Television Channel Canal +, France
François Pinault Foundation, France
Humboldt Forum, Berlin, Germany
Lausanne Museum, Switzerland
Ullens Foundation, Switzerland
Fukuoka Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan
Sonje Museum of Contemporary Art, Kyongju, South 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

 
Tale of the 11th Day: Golden Deer, Blue Coala 
2010 | 56x76cm | Chinese ink & mineral colour on silk mounted on canvas
Tale of the 11th Day: Golden Sun
2015 | 66x31cm | Chinese ink & mineral colour on silk mounted on canvas
Tale of the 11th Day: White Eyes
2015 | 38x55cm | Chinese ink & mineral colour on silk mounted on canvas
Tale of the 11th Day: Yellow Earth
2014-2017 | 69x96cm | Chinese ink & mineral colour on silk mounted on canvas
Tale of the 11th Day: Taihu Stone
2016-2023 | 101x140cm | Chinese ink & mineral colour on silk mounted on canvas
Tale of the 11th Day: The Last Tree
2016-2023 | 176x96cm | Chinese ink & mineral colour on silk mounted on canvas
Hundred Layers of Ink: For Bada 10
1996 | 71x91cm | Chinese ink on rice paper, gauze mounted on canvas
Hundred Layers of Ink: For Bada 11
1996 | Chinese ink on rice paper, gauze mounted on canvas | 71x91cm
Hundred Layers of Ink: For Bada 12
1996 | 71x91cm | Chinese ink on rice paper, gauze mounted on canvas
Hundred Layers of Ink: For Bada 13
1996 | 71x91cm | Chinese ink on rice paper, gauze mounted on canvas
Hundred Layers of Ink: For Bada 14
1996 | 37x55cm | Chinese ink on rice paper, gauze mounted on canvas
Hundred Layers of Ink: For Bada 15
1996 | 105x75cm | Chinese ink on rice paper, gauze mounted on canvas
Hundred Layers of Ink: Ten Thousand Things
1997 | 168x96cmx3 | Chinese ink on rice paper, gauze mounted on canvas
Hundred Layers of Ink: Dot
1998 | 53x42cm | Chinese ink on rice paper, gauze mounted on canvas
Soy Sauce Drawing 1
1988 | 37.5x30.5cm | Soy sauce on computer paper
Soy Sauce Drawing 2
1988 | 37.5x30.5cm | Soy sauce on computer paper
Soy Sauce Drawing 3
1988 | 37.5x30.5cm | Soy sauce on computer paper
Soy Sauce Drawing 4
1988 | 37.5x30.5cm | Soy sauce on computer paper
Soy Sauce Drawing 5
1988 | 37.5x30.5cm | Soy sauce on computer paper
Soy Sauce Drawing 6
1988 | 37.5x30.5cm | Soy sauce on computer paper
Square 2
1992-94 | 41x41cm | Chinese ink on Xuan paper, gauze
Square 3
1992-94 | 41x41cm | Chinese ink on Xuan paper, gauze
Double View
2000 | 99.5x102cm | Ink & Arcylic on xuan paper, Korean paper