Born in Kunming, China in 1958, Ye is a graduate of the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts and has shown extensively throughout China, Europe, and the United States. His work is included in significant museum collections across Western Europe, North America, and Asia including the Guggenheim and China Museum of Fine Art.
Ye Yongqing, along with Zhang Xiaogang, Pan Dehai and Mao Xuhui founded the Southwestern Art Group in the mid-80’s where they introduced the idea of the “neo-image”, or the materialization of the heart-soul on canvas.
However, Ye has not remained within the confines of his role as an artist and has become well known, in recent years, for his work as a curator, art event organizer and advocate of artist communities. Ye is continually revolutionizing and redefining contemporary Chinese art practice and has become one of the most vocal and influential figures of Chinese art today.
Ye Yongqing’s present body of work consists of simple but universally recognizable images that he uses as a metaphor to explore the depths of his inner subconscious. At first glance, his works are overtly simple, almost childish. However, upon closer inspection, one realizes that each chaotic stroke has actually been very carefully rendered, created by thousands of neat little scratch marks. Embodying the idea of the “neo-image” he perpetuated with the Southwestern Art Group, Ye Yongqing’s artworks are deeply personal and expressive- an attempt to capture the workings of his inner mind.
The quality of Ye Yongqing’s paintings is unique, capturing both the impression of haphazard speed and the precision of individual strokes. He projects a sketched image onto canvas and begins to meticulously build a frame to support the larger image. His works exemplify Chinese aesthetics in their deceptive minimalism, encouraging the viewer to look closely and appreciate the delicacy of his brush strokes. Ye recreates the immediacy of sketching by harnessing the basic line to form multifaceted motifs. Replete with paradox, Ye Yongqing’s paintings are simple and complex, elegant yet rough, controlled yet whimsical, substantial yet skeletal.
From 6th August 2011, MoCA Loewen is honored to be hosting the first major retrospective of Ye Yongqing’s work in Singapore, recounting the last twenty years of his artistic journey. Members of the media are cordially invited to the opening reception of the exhibition. The artist, who will be coming down from Kunming, will also be available for interview before and after the opening.