‘Art should demonstrate an astonishing quality.’
Born. 1966, Dalian, Liaoning. Lives and works in Beijing.
Yang Maoyuan graduated from Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1989, at a time of extraordinary social and artistic change in China. He was selected for the seminal exhibition of contemproary art, China/Avant-garde, in February of that year, together with other cutting-edge contemporary artists from all over China. Since that time his multi-disciplinary work has been exhibited internationally in significant group and solo exhibitions. From the mid-1990s, when Yang first travelled to the Taklamakan Desert and the mysterious ‘vanishing’ lake, Lop Nur , his work has been inspired by the power of nature, the metaphor of the journey, and the origins of Chinese culture. He has travelled through Xinjiang and crossed the Gobi Desert, researching the history, sociology and archaeology of the fabled Silk Road trading route. Other works are more directly autobiographical. Sky, 2015, resulted from a personal tragedy. On 8th March 2014 Yang went to Beijing Capital Airport to meet his friend and former teacher, Liu Zhongfu. Together with a group of almost 30 Chinese artists Liu was a passenger on Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, which mysteriously disappeared and has never been found. During the long, anxious wait at the airport for news, Yang asked his friends from all over China and across the world to take a photograph of the sky on their mobile phones at the same time. The 35 different skies in this work are those he selected as a memorial. Yang says that his hope and grief were ‘written on the sky’.