Belonging to the prestigious lineage of painters of Asian origin living in France, who today find their place in the history of contemporary art, Huang Yong Ping is a contemporary artist at the crossroads of Chinese arts and culture as well as Western fine arts. As the popularity of his work attests, Huang Yong Ping also enjoys recognition from the art market, including museums and collectors.
Based in France for more than twenty-five years, Yong Ping is one of the most influential Chinese artists on the international scene. A discreet, even enigmatic character, he regularly takes part in all the major contemporary events such as the Monumenta exhibition in 2016 held at the Grand Palais.
Yong Ping was born in 1954 in Fujian province in southwest China. He is a major figure of the Chinese avant-garde of the 1980s and the founder of the “Xiamen Dada” movement. Muzzled by Maoist China, which tried to ban his political works, he moved to Paris in 1989 and took French nationality. The same year he took part in the “Magiciens de la Terre” exhibition at the Centre Pompidou, which is considered one of the first institutional recognitions of non-Western contemporary art. Today Yong Ping is present in all the Biennials, from São Paulo to Shanghai, and in Art Basel Unlimited as well as in the world’s greatest museums.
Faithful to his conception of the East and the West as intertwined, Yong Ping often mixes Buddhist and Taoist symbols with references to Western culture and philosophy in his installations. His sculptures, like the one shown here, are allegories about society, the future and the hybridization of identities. Following this unifying conception, the figure of the serpent is central to Yong Ping’s work. Since 2012, “Le Serpent d’Océan”, a perennial sculpture of a 130-metre-long snake skeleton, has been installed in the Saint-Brévin Les-Pins estuary near Nantes. It evokes the power of nature and the symbolic longevity of the snake, destined to be covered by underwater fauna, but also the tension between man’s creative capacities and his destructive impulses.
During the Monumenta exhibition in 2016 the artist also took up this theme in the form of a monumental installation called “Empires”. In it, Yong Ping organizes the forced cohabitation of symbolic elements linked to imperial powers: that of China with a huge snake, of France with Bonaparte’s bicorn and that of the silent imperialism of a globalized economy through piles of containers.
The auction house Aguttes Commissaire-priseur sells works by Huang Yong Ping at auctions of contemporary art and Chinese painting, obtaining very good results with high prices. In 2019, Xuan Wu, a large-format mixed media sculpture on aluminium (300 x 860 x 300 cm – 118 1/8 x 338 5/8 x 118 1/8 in.) made in 2002 was sold for €411,920.