Yan Pei Ming

Yan Pei Ming

Yan Pei-Ming was born in 1960 in Shanghai. He grew up during the Cultural Revolution and painted in his spare time. In 1980 he left Shanghai for France where he enrolled in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and graduated in 1999. Since 1982 he lives and works in Dijon, France.
His most famous paintings are “epic-sized” portraits of Mao Zedong, executed in black and white or red and white. He works with large brushes and his paintings are brought to life by the rapid brush strokes that structure the picture space. Next to Mao, his portraits of his father and of Bruce Lee also receive wide critical acclaim. Struggle, both physical and spiri- tual, is always central to his creative activities. His paintings are literally the results of intense actions rather than frozen structures of colors and forms. They are in constant agitation, with large and fast strokes conquering the moving ground, often of immense dimensions. How- ever, they are by no means simply expressionistic, extravagant, and self-indulgent manifestations.
His personalities are always presented in an uncertain setting with morally problematic titles such as, in reference to his own father, “the most respectful man,” “the most hateful man,” etc. In addition, his works are often politically incorrect: in the 1990s, he produced a large series of portraits of people from the bottom of society such as prisoners, prostitutes, and homeless children in a strangely glorifying fashion.
Ming exhibited his work in the Venice Biennale in 2003 and at the Sevilla Biennale in 2006. The Honolulu Academy of Arts and the National Gallery of Australia are among the public collections holding works by Yan Pei-Ming. On February 12th, 2009 The Funeral of Mona Lisa went on display in The Louvre in the room next to the original Mona Lisa until May 18th, 2009.

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