Introduction by Yue Minjun. Text by Karen Smith, Feng Boi.
Published by Blue Kingfisher
The aggressively smiling faces of the noted Chinese Cynical Realist, Yue Minjun, are instantly recognizable to anyone even remotely interested in the burgeoning contemporary Chinese art scene--his work has set astronomical records at Sotheby's and Christies since it was first introduced, and has been reported upon in magazines ranging from Variety to the Economist. One of China's leading artists, the 44-year-old Beijing-based painter's works are instantly recognizable by the artist's trademark laughing figures--actually the artist himself in various guises. The idiotic laughing figures always have more teeth than one could possibly want, like empty fashion models advertising the latest whitening toothpaste. In this way, Yue transforms himself into an icon for the spiritual emptiness of the contemporary world: While Yue's trademark smile appears superficial, mindless and even ridiculous, it is also deeply revealing and compelling, combining basic elements of propaganda posters from the Cultural Revolution with those of modern advertising.
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