A Cultural Revolution

A portfolio of significant works from China's contemporary-art boom
Photo

CRYING LANDSCAPE—PENTAGON , 2003,
One of a series of six paintings with sound installation
Ink and mineral colors on paper, each 118 x 197

Yang Jiechang (born 1956) was trained in the traditional Chinese arts, studying calligraphy with a master and living in a Taoist monastery, in addition to receiving an academic art education. Based in Europe since 1988, he works fluidly in a wide variety of media, using traditional techniques in innovative ways. His paintings cast a skeptical eye on both East and West and address politically and socially charged subjects such as the Tiananmen Square massacre and the 9/11 attacks. With Crying Landscape—Pentagon (2003), Yang used the meticulous “fine line” Chinese painting technique—traditionally employed to render birds and flowers—to depict one of the most shocking events in recent memory.
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