Yue MinJun

Yue Minjun is a contemporary Chinese painter, sculptor and printmaker, best known for his works depicting himself with his trademark smile. Born in 1962 in Daqing, China, he graduated from the Fine Arts Department of Hebei University, China in 1985. He currently lives and works in Beijing.


The paintings, sculptures and installations of Yue Minjun feature uniform laughing pink faces, which appear to be self-portraits. Through various symbols, metaphors, signs, or through depictions of daily life, the artist constructs various realities against which the laughing figures are rendered. Yue Minjun is often classified as part of the Chinese "Cynical Realist" movement, however he uncompromisingly rejects this label and insists that his art is a unique moment in history, unclassifiable to any registered style. Nevertheless, Yue often challenges social and cultural conventions by depicting objects and political issues in a radical, abstract, ironic and cynical manner. 


Yue Minjun first claimed international spotlight in 1999 when he participated in the 48th Venice Biennale. Since then, he has exhibited internationally participating in numerous museum shows, as well as major exhibition events, including the Gwangju Biennale and Shanghai Biennale, both in 2004. His work features in the collections of the CP Art Foundation, Indonesia; the Cheng Du Shang He Museum, China; the Guang Dong Art Museum, China; the Shen Zhen Art Museum, China; the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, USA; the Museum of Architecture, Chicago, USA; the Denver Art Museum, USA; the Francois. Mitterrand Cultural Center, France; the Busan Museum of Art, Korea; the Arario Galleries, Korea and the Union University Art Museum, Singapore.

Photo © Yue Minjun Studio