Yue Minjun (Heilongjiang, 1962) is one of China's most international creators, belonging to a generation of artists who grew up in the midst of the Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966-1976).
In the opening era after Mao's death, there was a push of Western art coming into China, which had a great influence on the evolution of the artist. Cynical Realism and Political Pop are some of the trends of 1990s Chinese art that are reflected in Minjun's works.
In addition to Western influence, Minjun's art is part of a post-Maoist context in which the tradition of propaganda painting is manifest. Minjun uses cynicism and irony as a resource against impotence and imposed reality. The image of Minjun’s self-portrait laughing has become an icon. Laughter is the anesthesia of our anxieties and a symbol of protest. Minjun says that, most of the time, you only have laughter left as a revolutionary weapon to combat cultural and human indifference.
Minjun's works are part of such important collections as the Denver Art Museum, the Shenzhen Art Museum, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. In 2008, Yue Minjun collaborated with KAWS to produce a series of small sculptures that blended the iconography and style of both artists.
Contemporary Terracotta Wariors, 2003
Acrylic on fiberglass and reinforced plastic with iron base
72 1/2 x 36 5/8 x 16 7/8 inches