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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Britta Erickson is an independent scholar and curator who focuses on contemporary Chinese art. She has taught at Stanford University and has curated major exhibitions at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, in Washington, D.C., and at Stanford's Cantor Arts Center.

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