Feb 14, 2009

Yang Shaobin

Born in 1963 in Hebei Province, China, Yang Shaobin had not started as an artist but as a polytechnic student, who drifted to art while his stay at the Song Zhuang Province. Song Zhuang Province then emerging as a centre for Chinese Avant garde art had attracted many important artists. In 1999 three artists living in Song Zhuang were selected for the 48th Venice Biennial; Yang was one of them. During this exhibition Yang presented his original style of work which was a contrary to what every modern painter was doing. While every modern painter was embracing cynical realism and pop art styles, Yang created images which were anti-neo art and surrealist.

Critic Sebastian Preuss has written of Yang's style: "His deep pictorial pathos impressively contradicts Neo-Pop, which predominates in all Western countries..." Yang’s style involves the use of realistic figurative paintings that get distorted somewhere to make it surrealist. In his works the central issue seems to be the tension between individual violence and compassion with the human creature. Contrasting other Chinese Contemporaries, his style involves lesser flat tones, and use of figures that are not necessarily Chinese.

In recent years Yang is also making sculptures, which are however not quite that good and are not that popular either.

Yang lives in Beijing but frequently travels to Vienna and is today a central figure in Vienna circle of action-artists.