ARTIST:

Yue Minjun

Yue Minjun
Untitled, 2005
Oil on canvas
220.3 x 200 cm

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

Yue Minjun
Backyard Garden, 2005
Oil on canvas
280 x 400 cm

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.
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Thursday, 26 November 2020: COVID-19 / CORONAVIRUS UPDATE:

Following the UK Government’s latest announcement placing London in Tier 2, Saatchi Gallery will re-open from Wednesday, 9 December 2020. We will re-open with our free entry Ground Floor exhibitions (Philip Colbert: Lobsteropolis and Antisocial Isolation) from December 9. The new dates for our next headline exhibition JR: Chronicles will be announced shortly.

Government guidelines on health and safety measures will remain in effect, including social distancing within a one-way system in our galleries, the provision of hand sanitising stations, and the wearing of face coverings by visitors and staff. All visitors are encouraged to pre-book their tickets prior to entry.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon.