Yan Lei, ‘BILDER, DIE(NIE)VERSCHWINDEN-HK Airport 圖像未(不)死-香港機場’, 2014, Tang Contemporary Art

About Yan Lei

Yan Lei has a reputation as a rebel among his circle—as a prank, he and artist Hong Hao once mailed fake invitations for the international Documenta exhibition to a number of Chinese artists. He makes and speaks about his work with a similar provocative vigor, having once said, “Painting, after all, is just a mindless representation of an image you might see in a photograph.” Yan, who received his training in printmaking at the Zhejiang Academy of Arts, produces videos and installations, though he is most recognized for his work on canvas. Each of his paintings is based on a photograph—frequently featuring imagery from Chinese or Western popular culture—which he has digitally altered and super-saturated. Yan has stated that he strives for artificiality in color, but realism in his rendering.

Chinese, b. 1965, Hebei, China, based in Beijing, China; Hong Kong