Wang Yi Gang

Born in 1961 in Qiqihar, Wang Yigang began his career in the early 1980s, producing early works influenced by an interest in and in-depth study of Western Cubism and Futurism. Winner of the Encouraging Youth Artist Prize in 1985, he graduated the following year from the oil painting department of the Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts in Shenyang.
Throughout his twenty-five year career, Wang Yigang has explored many styles, trying his hand at a variety of means of expression from figurative to abstract expressionism and pop art. With an innovative art with plural and referenced inflections, the artist has quickly exhibited his works all over the world, in China, Japan, Singapore, Russia and the United States, but also in Spain, Germany and more recently in France. His creative power earned him the 1993 China Oil Painting Biennial Academic Award and a professorship in the Art Department of the Teachers’ Institute of Shenyang University in 1993. He currently teaches at the Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts. In 2016, Wang Yigang will be honoured by the Chenaux Gallery, which is dedicating an event to him, as well as by the Artasia centre, which is offering a grandiose and resoundingly successful retrospective.

In a China that is still very attached to the avatars of a thousand-year-old classical culture, Wang Yigang has established himself as a major figure in the revival of national artistic expression by developing a personal and referenced style, tinged with the obvious influence of modern Western forms.

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Like many Chinese painters of his generation, such as Wang Yan Cheng, the artist was able to draw on the example offered by Abstract Expressionism - the movement that some historians choose to refer to as the New York School and which came into being in the 1940s, just as the Second World War paralysed part of Europe and its artistic creation. The American protagonists of Abstract Expressionism wished to give abstraction a second wind by reacting to the geometric tenets that had characterised it until then, leaving the emphasis on gesture and its developments on the canvas, perceived as the expression of their subconscious. This movement, perceived as a true regeneration, a new liberation of painting, quickly influenced artists from all over the world: Westerners, but also Asians and more particularly Chinese, like Wang Yigang. In a recent interview, the artist states that ''Pollock uses painting to interpret the concept of the subconscious as formulated by Freud, perfectly staged in the American's works. ...] Pollock makes real paintings of the subconscious".
However, the work of Wang Yigang, witness of a fine and inherent cultural hybridization, also appears to be one of the worthy descendants of the Chinese artistic tradition of landscape painting, whose subjects and inspirations, as well as techniques and compositions he does not hesitate to take up.
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