Exposition Art Blog: Huang Yong Pīng - Avant-garde Conceptual Art

Huang Yong Pīng - Avant-garde Conceptual Art

Huang Yong Pīng ( 1954 – 2019) was a Chinese-French contemporary artist and one of the most well known Chinese Avant-garde artists of his time. Born in Xiamen, he was recognized as the most controversial and provocative artist of the Chinese art scene of the 1980s.
"Huang Yong Ping, a Conceptual artist and pioneering figure of China’s post-Cultural Revolution avant-garde, whose controversial work often depicted the world as a Darwinian power struggle.
Alexandra Munroe, the senior curator of Asian art at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, said the cause was a brain hemorrhage.
Huang was a conceptualist with a powerful visual imagination; in some sense he was also a contemporary version of the scholar-artist of Chinese tradition. A wide reader in philosophy, European and non-European, he infused his art with his learning and wisdom.
He kept a sharp eye on the political world around him and held it to moral account, often using images gleaned from nature — snakes, insects, turtles — to comment on human behavior.
He was acutely aware of how, in a new “global age,” art was being used both to reinforce and to promote cultural stereotypes and hierarchies, like those embodied in the very terms “Western” and “non-Western.” In 1987 he put two canonical art history books — one written in Chinese, the other in English — through a washing machine and displayed the results: a sodden lump of pulp in which individual words and images were indistinguishable.
Underlying all this work was his interest in Asian spiritual philosophies, specifically Taoism and Chan (Zen) Buddhism, the one nature-centered, the other a challenge to Western rationalism. He brought these philosophies to his art." (By Holland Cotter
Published Oct. 29, 2019 nytimes.com)


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