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Biography: Huang Yan

“Very few artists, in expressing the encounter between Chinese traditional culture and the contemporary world, have succeeded in simultaneously capturing the fusion and the paradox that this encounter generates. Huang Yan’s work makes reference to a Chinese cultural heritage that is innate to every Chinese person. Since the earliest paintings of the Han dynasty and the apotheosis of the theorization of landscape painting during the Song dynasty, landscape paintings have become the quintessence of Chinese art.”
Source Chinese Contemporary

“The artist shows his commitment to the same ideals of the literati of the past by saying: “landscape is a way of expressing myself…It’s a stance of tranquility and a place to store my body. It’s my resistance against worldly conflicts and a way of releasing my Chan ideas.” But when he uses the body as the site of creation, Huang Yan claims such a contemporary artistic approach, that one cannot help making the connection with performance art (xingwei yishu) whose prime medium is the body and which marked the beginnings of contemporary art in China.

Even though he has never been a performer, it is not surprising that Huang Yan keeps close ties with the performance art scene. In China, for cultural as well as political reasons, the body remains taboo. It is a medium, ostensibly disturbing, that carries a dangerous potential which the society tries to control and that contemporary artists never cease to hijack. As a direct medium and site of inner expression that can lead to extravagance and personal affirmation, the body has become one of the main sources of inspiration for creators, performers and visual artists who have formed the foundation of contemporary art in China.”
Source Chinese Contemporary


Born in Jilin, Jilin Province

Graduated from the Changchun Normal Academy, Jilin Province

Currently living and working in Beijing

Solo Exhibitions:
Huang Yan Photography, Michele Mosko Fine Art, Denver, USA

Photographs, Priska C. Juschka Fine Art, New York, USA
Huang Yan Solo Exhibition, Zhuqizhuan Art Museum, Shanghai, China

Zen Painting, Must Be Art Center, Beijing, China
Xin Dong Cheng International Art Studio, Beijing, China
VIPS International Art Galleries, Holland Cotter, Netherlands

Huang Yan, Chinese Contemporary, London, England

Huang Yan, Red Gate Gallery, Beijing, China
Mountains and Water Spirit, Eastlink Gallery, Shanghai, China

Return to Tradition, Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong

The Ideal Image of Huang Yan, Proper Art Gallery, Shenyang, China

Poetry Art of Huang Yan, Proper Art Gallery, Shenyang, China
Postal Art of Huang Yan, Beijing Contemporary Art Gallery, Beijing, China
Group Exhibitions:
Gothic Intrusion, The Proposition Gallery, New York, USA
Spring Group Show, Chinese Contemporary, Beijing, China
Critical Mass, Huang Yan Contemporary Art Center, Beijing, China<

MADE in CHINA – The Estella Collection, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Floating – The New Generation of Art in China, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea
Arles Photography Festival, Arles, France
RED HOT – Asian Art Today from the Chaney Family Collection, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA
Zhu Yi! Chinese Contemporary Photography, ARTIUM de Alava, Spain
China Now!, McClain Gallery, Houston, USA
CHINA – Timeless Beauty from Chinese Classical Era and New Chinese Porcelain Sculpture, Sara Hildén Art Museum, Tampere, Finland

RUINS – New Photography and Video from China, Peck School of the Arts, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Mahjong – Chinese Contemporary Art from the Sigg Collection, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany

Out of the Red-II The Photographic Session, Marella Gallery, Como, Italy
The Other End: Contemporary Experimental Art and Design Exhibition, He Xiangning Art Musuem, Shenzhen, China

Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video From China, ICP, New York City, USA

1st Guangzhou Triennale, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China

Chengdu Biennale, Chengdu Modern Art Museum, Chengdu, China

Red Hot, Red Gate Gallery, Beijing, China
Virtual Future, Art Museum of Guangdong Province, Guangzhou, China
Charming China, Space Contemporary Art, Bangkok, Thailand
Hot Pot, Kunstnemes Hus, Oslo, Norway

Hanart Gallery, Hong Kong
Focus, Chinese Contemporary, London, England
Fuck Off, Eastlink Gallery, Shanghai, China
Portrait, Figures, Couples and Groups, Bizart Space, Shanghai, China
Everyday Attitude, Upriver Gallery, Chengdu, China
China’s Charming, Eastlink Gallery, Shanghai, China

The Traditional Visual Image, Shanghai, China
Unusual Way of Writing, Art Academy of Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, China
Truths to Open, Bangkok University, Bangkok Beatus Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
Media Interruption, Art Commune, Hong Kong

Traditional and Anti-traditional Art, German Embassy, Beijing, China
Image Telling Stories, Shanghai, China
Obstinate Art Show, Beijing, China
The Best of Chinese Contemporary Art, Proud Galleries, London, England
Contemporary Art of China, Helsingborg, Sweden
Fine Arts, Shenyang, China

New Image, Beijing Theatre, Beijing, China

Post-89, New Art of China, Marlborough Gallery, London, England
Photographs and Prints by Huang Yan and 8 other artists, Hanart Gallery, Hong Kong

First Biennial Exhibition of Chinese Art in the 1990s, Guangzhou, China
Image of Object, Shenzhen, Hong Kong

Beijing Xi-san-huan: Chinese Art Documentaries, Beijing, China

Image of Object, Art Gallery of NE Normal University, Changchun, China