Ye Yongqing

China 1958


Ye Yongqing
Ye Yongqing
November 18, 2014

Ye Yongqing is Chinese artist, born in 1958 in Kunming. He got his education at Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts, where he studied at the Oil Painting department, and graduated in 1982. Later, he started working there as a professor. A good part of his career Ye painted portraits of birds, with jagged, clever lines, focusing in recent years on the creation of colorful collages. Through his distinctive stroke, his birds aim to incorporate mythologies from all over the world. His distinctive style could be said that is both traditional and new. Made in a sweeping gesture, series of paradoxical structures curve the frames of birds depicting both stillness and movement. They are both simple and complex, elegant yet rough, controlled yet whimsical, substantial yet skeletal. About his painting, Ye said: “Scribble usually gives an impression of fast and simple. But if I sketch something childish in a mature way and with slow process, people might miss-recognize it as a child’s drawing at first, then suddenly discovering the meaning in it. This is an interesting process that I am like a trap setter, making a joke to visitors just for a harmless fun.” Painting birds he earned his nickname Birdman, while others call him Chief Ye, because of his influence in the Chinese art world. He is also an art director in Contemporary Art Academy of China, and has an equal fame like Zhang Xiao Gang and Wang Guangyi. With them and Mao Xuhui and some other artists, he was a founding member of the Southwestern Art Group which was formed in the mid 1980’s. Ye has always avoided the Scar Art and Social Realism of the previous generation, and even seem to have bypassed the Political Pop that was popular with his contemporaries and gained attention worldwide. From his words can be realized why he never accepted popular artistic practices of his time, and embraced conceptual art before his fellow artists: “The national character has giving us too much boundaries. I was deeply touched by artists without boundaries. They directly express the thoughts with great explosive force to fill the artworks with energy and life.” Ye is one of a large number of artists who have set up studios in city of Dali, the area of the Yunnan province, southwestern China, in recent years. This ancient walled city is located between the rugged Cangshan Mountain and the beautiful Erhai Lake. Decision to move to his mother’s ancestral town he made while living in London, after felling very ill in 2006. “I had a fever over 104 degrees for 13 days,” he said. “My health was wrecked. And I thought—where I can go to recover?” Dali was the place that came to his mind, a place known for its allegiance to its traditions. For his studio, he chose the big, open space of the attic in the house he and his wife bought from a local business man. It has plenty of light, and only a few pieces of furniture, including a couple of tables in the classical Ming style, that hold his containers of brushes. For the past decade he has been best known as a curator, art events organizer, and artist community booster. His work is included in significant museum, corporate, and private art collections in Western Europe, North America, and Asia including the Guggenheim and China Museum of Fine Art. He made a significant contribution to Chinese contemporary art through his work.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2009Ye YongqingGallery J. Chen, Taipei, TaiwanSolo
2009To Be or Not To BeBeijing Art Now Gallery, Beijing, ChinaSolo
2008Paint a Bird:Paradox and RealityChina Square Gallery, New York, USASolo
2008Injured HeartK Gallery, Shanghai Art Fair, ChinaSolo
2007To Paint a Bird!Fun Art Space, BeijingSolo
2007A Wounded BirdGallery ARTSIDE, Seoul, KoreaSolo
2006Solo FlightBlues Dreamland Gallery, ChengduSolo
2005ScribbleShanghai Zhangjiang Art Museum, ShanghaiSolo
2002Chengdu BiennaleChengdu Contemporary Arts Gallery, Chengdu, ChinaSolo
2002Behind The RealityDimen Center Arts, TaiwanSolo
2002Guangzhou TrienniumGuangdong Fine Arts Gallery Guangzhou, ChinaSolo
2001Ye YongqingShanghART, shanghai, ChinaSolo
2001New ImageChina Fine Arts Gallery, Beijing, ChinaSolo
2001Ye YongqingSichuan Fine Arts Gallery, Chengdu, ChinaSolo
2001Ye YongqingGuangdong Fine Arts Gallery, Guangzhou, ChinaSolo
2000Ye YongqingChina contemporary, London, UKSolo
1999China in Scholar’s EyesSoobin Art Gallery, SingaporeSolo
1999Ye YongqingKailin Sax Gallery, Munich, GermanySolo
1995Live in the historyChina Art studio, Augsberg, GermanySolo
1995Ye YongqingShuang Hexuan Gallery, SeattleSolo
1990Ye YongqingShuang Hexuan Gallery, Seattle, USASolo
1989Ye YongqingFrench Embassy in China, BeiJing, ChinaSolo
2002China TrienniumGuangdong Art Museum, Guangzhou, ChinaSolo
2008Case Studies of Artists in Art HistorySZ Art Centre, Beijing Chinese Art Centre, Basel, SwitzerlandGroup
2008Accumulations-The Spirit of the EastAsia Art Centre, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2008Chinese ContemporaryArtside Gallery, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2007Embarking from the Southwest-Contemporary Art ExhibitionGuangdong Museum of Art, GuangzhouGroup
2007From New Image to New PaintingTang Contemporary Art, BeijingGroup
2007Talk of War on PaperNanjing Sifang Museum of Art, NanjingGroup
2007Unconsciousness Dubang Contemporary SpaceMiaoli County, TaiwanGroup
2006Poetic Realism: A Reinterpretation of JiangnanRCM Art Museum, NanjingGroup
2006Unclear and CleamessHeyri Art Foundation, KoreaGroup
2006Renovate OCTHe Xiangning Art Museum OCT Art Center, ShenzhenGroup
2006Art in MotionShanghai MoCA Art Museum, ShanghaiGroup
2005Stern FaceBeijing Now Gallery, BeijingGroup
2005Future Archaeology – Chinese Art TriennialNanjing Museum of Art, NanjingGroup
2005Dream of the Dragon PeopleChinese Art Exhibition, Ireland Art MuseumGroup
2005Asia Urban NetworkSeoul art museum, KoreaGroup
2005The Big River – Chinese New Era Oil Paing Retrospective ExhibitionNational Art Museum, BeijingGroup
2005The Yuanfen SkyShenzhen Art Museum, ShenzhenGroup
2005The Guangzhou TriennialGuangdong Museum of Art, GuangdongGroup
2004Transcending BoundariesShanghai Gallery of ArtGroup
2004Ye Yongqing Fang Lijun and Yue MinjunShanghai Gallery of Art, ShanghaiGroup
2003Opening EraNational Art Museum of China, BeijingGroup
2003Abstract Art ExhibitionShanghai Art Museum, ShanghaiGroup
2001Part1Atlantic’s Gallery, London, UKGroup
2001China ArtRed Building Art Center, London, UKGroup
2001The Dream of Chinese ArtRed Building Art Center, LondonGroup
2000Gate of the Century:1979-1999 The Exhibition of Chinese ArtChengdu Modern Art Museum, Chengdu, ChinaGroup
2000Chinese Oil Painting in 20th CenturyTouring Show in Beijing and Shanghai, ChinaGroup
2000Between…Upriver Residence, Kunming, ChinaGroup
2000Tale of Two CitiesAsia Contemporary Art, London, UKGroup
1999China ArtLimn Gallery, San Francisco, USAGroup
1999Art from ChinaLIMN Gallery, San FranciscoGroup
1998China's New Art ExhibitionObservatoire 4ed Montreal, Montreal, CanadaGroup
1997Cologne International Art FairLudwig Museum, Cologne, GermanyGroup
1997Quotation MarksSingapore Art Museum, SingaporeGroup
1997Red and Grey: Eight Avant-garde Chinese ArtistsSoobin Art Gallery, SingaporeGroup
1997Between Two PlacesOctober gallery, London, UKGroup
1997Taipei International Gallery FairWorld Trade Center, Taipei, ChinaGroup
1997LiuWei and Ye YeyongqingGallery of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, ChinaGroup
1996The first Academic Exhibition of Chinese Contemporary ArtNational Art museum, Beijing, ChinaGroup
1996First Shanghai Art BiennaleShanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, ChinaGroup
1996Sharing the DreamsJamaica Art Centre, New York, USAGroup
1995Feeling of SkinAntony Art Centre, FranceGroup
1995Avant-guard Artisiques XinesesSanta Monica Art Centre, Barcelona, SpainGroup
1994The Annual Exhibition of Works of Artists Nominated by Art CriticsNational Art Museum of China, Beijing, ChinaGroup
1993Post 89 New Art from ChinaHong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong, ChinaGroup
1993Chinese Art in 90s-Chinese ExperienceSichuan Art Museum, Chengdu, ChinaGroup
1992China Oil Painting ExhibitionBeijing Minority Cultural Palace, ChinaGroup
19921st Guangzhou Oil Painting BiennaleExhibition Hall of the Central Hotel, Guangzhou, ChinaGroup