Immediately humorous and sympathetic, Yue Minjun’s paintings offer a light-hearted approach to philosophical enquiry and contemplation of existence. Drawing connotations to the disparate images of the Laughing Buddha and the inane gap toothed grin of Alfred E. Newman, Yue’s self-portraits have been describe by theorist Li Xianting as “a self-ironic response to the spiritual vacuum and folly of modern-day China.”
Often basing his compositions on well known European masterpieces and iconic Chinese art, Yue subverts the grandiose aura of art history through his adaptation of pop aesthetics. Using both the exaggerated expressiveness of cartooning and the stylistic rendering of graphic illustration, Yue depicts his cloned doppelgangers as contorted and grotesque, all scalded pink skin and maniacal toothy cackles.
ARTSIDE Gallery was founded in 1999 in Seoul with a practical motto: ‘art is an endless centralisation of margins.’ It has since introduced Korean art to international art circles, promoting Korean artists globally and, at the same time, has introduced international art to Korean art circles. In 2001, it presented avant-garde artists from China in Korea for the first time. In 2008, it opened ARTSIDE Gallery Beijing in the Dashanzi Art District in China and established itself as a link between Asia, Europe and the Americas.