Li Yongbin

China 1963

Installation, Video Art, Painting

Li Yongbin
Li Yongbin
March 25, 2015
Alias of Jasmina Sevic, a researcher and author for Widewalls. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Science (Department for Journalism) in Belgrade in 2013.

Li Yongbin, born in 1963 in Beijing, belongs to the first generation of artistic innovators of the post-Mao era. Self-taught, he gave up painting in the late 1990s to work exclusively with video. Using the barest of means and the simplest of techniques, he creates work of great, and often disturbing, power. Frequently using his own face, or simple shadows, duration and repetition introduce a strongly psychological dimension to his work.

Li Yongbin has always been fascinated by the representation of temporality and the ways and possibilities in which we perceive events unfolding. In the last decades he has made numerous unedited real-time recordings of non-dramatic events, or rather, nonevents. For example, in Face he recorded the reflection of his own face on a windowpane against a cityscape at the moment of sunsets and as the night falls, the reflection of his face gradually appeared while the cityscape slowly faded into darkness. Those works are usually very long in duration and arduous for their beholders.

Li Yongbin’s work has made the sense of time radically acute, at the same time it leads us into a state of meditating time, the lapse of time, the meanings of time and life. In his paintings Li Yongbin wanted to portray the fascination that he discovered with video, return to these themes, ambiguities and equivocal messages.

Looking at his canvases one after the other, one can see the flashes of inspiration from videos. The head emerges from the flames and raises questions on the limits of space. Other paintings perfectly conveys the idea of speed, to such a point that the face represented in close-up on the canvas seems ready to escape from it. The eyes, always very striking, from one painting to another, emerge from shadows. With the lack of colour, the light of the paintings appears even more dazzling.

His work has been included in many solo and group exhibitions in China, Germany, France, Australia, Belgium, Switzerland, and USA, among others.

YearName of the exhibitionMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2014Unlived by What is SeenPace Gallery, Beijing, Chinagroup
2014Hans van Dijk - 5000 NamesUllens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, Chinagroup
2011Out of the Box - The Threshold of Video Art in ChinaGuangdong Times Museumgroup
2011Thirty Years of Chinese Contemporary Art – Moving Image in China (1988-2011)Minsheng Art Museum, Chinagroup
2010Works from Multiplex: Directions in Art, 1970 to NowMoMA Museum of Modern Art, USAgroup
2010Still Life Centre for Fine Arts - Bozar, Brussels, Belgiumgroup
2010FacesGalerie Mitterrandsolo
2009Beijing - Havana, New Contemporary Chinese art RevolutionCuba Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana,Cubagroup
2008Border of Virtuality - Chinese and Korean Media Art Now ExhibitionHan Ji Yun Contemporary Space, Beijing, Chinagroup
2008Faces and Faces Dolores de Sierragroup
2007Multiplex: Directions in Art-1970 to NowMuseum of Modern Artgroup
2007ConvectionThree Shadows Photography Art Centregroup
2007Li YongbinJGM Gallery, Paris, Francesolo
2007Best of Discovery@ShContemporary 07Shanghai Exhibition Center, Chinagroup
2006Regeneration: Contemporary Chinese Art From China and the USWilliams College Museum of Artgroup
2005Majong-Chinesische Gegenwartskunst aus der Sammlung SiggKunstmuseum Bern, Switzerlandgroup
2005Conspire The First Exhibition of TS1 Contemporary Art CenterTS1 Gallerygroup
2005Regeneration - Contemporary Chinese Art from China and the U.S. Arizona State University Art Museumgroup
2005Li YongbinSoka Art Center, Beijing, Chinasolo
2005Face of Face Soka Art Center, Beijing, Chinasolo
2005Pictorial DNA made in ChinaGalerie Urs Meile, Lucernegroup
2004Faces: paintingsEdward Mitterrand Gallery, Geneva, Switzerland solo
2004Faces: paintings and videosJGM. Gallery, Paris, Francesolo
2004Li Yongbin FacesLe Granit, Belfort, Francesolo
2004A first look, Reinstallation of the CollectionFilm and Media Gallery, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, U.S.Agroup
2004Officina AsiaGalleria d'Arte Moderna, Bologna group
2004Le moine et le demon, contemporary Chinese artMuseum of Contemporary Art, Lyon, Francegroup
2004Modern Means : Continuity and Change in Art, 1880 to the PresentMori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japangroup
2004China NowMuseum of Modern Art, New Yorkgroup
2004All Under heaven, Ancient and contemporary Chinese art MuHKA (Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp), Antwerp, Belgiumgroup
2004Regis Golay / Li YongbinGalerie Mitterrandgroup
2004Modern Means: Continuity and Change in Art from 1880 to the PresentMori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japangroup
2004China's Photographic Painting Art Seasions, Beijing, Chinagroup
2003Alors la ChineCentre National d'Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou, Paris, Francegroup
2003Artificial RespirationZhen Miao Contemporary Art Center, Beijing, Chinagroup
2003Left hand, Right hand798 Art Center, Beijing, Chinagroup
2003Second Hand Reality Today Art Museumgroup
2002My SpacePingyao International Festival of photography, China group
2002Sun I, Synthetic RealityEast Modern Art Centre, Beijing, Chinagroup
2002The First Guangzhou Trienale-Reinterpretation: A Decade of Experimental Chinese Art (1990-2000)Guangdong Museum of Artgroup
2001Compound EyesEarl Lu Gallery, Lasalle-Sia College of the Arts, Singapoorgroup
2001Cross PressuresOulu Art Museum and Finnish Museum of Photography, Finlandgroup
2001Clues of the FutureRed Tate Gallery, Beijing, Chinagroup
2001Living in TimeMuseum für Gegenwart, Berlin, Germanygroup
2001It's meDDM Warehouse, Shanghai, Chinagroup
2001Living in Time - Contemporary Artists from ChinaHamburger Bahnhofgroup
2001Cross Pressures - Contemporary Photography from Beijing Oulu City Art Museumgroup
2000L'oeuvre Vidéographique de Li YongbinBrussels Academy of Fine Arts, Belgiumsolo
1999SupermarketShanghai, Chinagroup
1999Autonomous ActionArtspace, Sydney, Australiagroup
1999Sign of LifeBiennale de Melbourne, Australiagroup
1998Photography and Video from ChinaMax Protech Gallery, New York, USAgroup
1998A New Form of Video Art in China4A Gallery, Sydney, Australiagroup
1998Autonomous ActionArtspace, Auckland, New- Zealandgroup
1997Another Long MarchBreda, Hollandgroup
1996Li Yong bin's videosBeijing Academy of Fine Arts Gallery, Beijing, Chinasolo
1996Image et PhénomèneAcadémie des Beaux-arts de Chine, Hangzhou, Chinagroup
1996Vidéo Sans TitreGalerie Froment et Putman, Paris, Francegroup
1995New Asian ArtOsaka, Tokyo, Japan group
1994Proofs of LifeJuan Jiehu House, Beijing, Chinasolo
1994Beijing International COM-Art Show, China, Korea and JapanCapital Normal University, Beijing, Chinagroup
1992New WaveChameleon Contemporary Art Space, Hobartgroup