MinJun Yue


MinJun Yue

Yue Minjun was born in 1962 in Heilongjiang, China. Yue graduated from the Oil Painting Department of Hebei Normal University. He is best known for his art work in depicting him in various settings, frozen in laughter. He has also reproduced this signature image in sculpture, watercolour and prints. He is famous for his art work Cynical Realism: it is the intelligent man's best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation.

His work engages the viewer with a kind of grey humour that emphasizes the canvas' boundaries as much as Yue's ability for individualistic self-expression in oil painting.

As original as his mocking self-portraits may be, Yue's work shows a distinct penchant for art historical appropriation. Whether it is Eugene Delacroix or Francis Bacon that Yue chooses to emulate in a specific canvas, he does the artwork with a conflicting blend of respect and mockery that is typical of the Cynical Realism movement as a whole.

The artist's attitude toward the masterpieces from which he borrows, remains as ambiguous as his attitude towards the broken culture that surrounds him. At once clinging to and scorning it, Yue maintains a signature poker face throughout his entire oil paintings.


Minjun Yue , Contemporary terracotta warriors - 2, 2000
Minjun Yue , Enlightenment, 2003
Minjun Yue , Mushroom Cloud, 2002
Minjun Yue , The Resurrection, 2010
Minjun Yue , Untitled (Terrorist Series N° 6)
Minjun Yue , Everywhere, 2002