The art of Yue Minjun is based on his own smile, he felt as a child and a youth that aesthetics and the world were neatly uniform spheres of existence and reality where there seemed to be little room, or none at all, for individual imagination and expansion.
The spiritual essence of Yue's mindless, silly laughing man is a bridge of resolution which calms the fraught and mired state of mind brought about by the influence of a singular culture and ideology. Demonstrating vividly the characteristics of social expression and common culture, Yue's works also reveal the sense of impuissance in an age of mass culture lost without icons and heroes. In his art, he forcefully exposes the limitations of life and space of the Chinese people, in order to seek the almost holy strength and mythical magic that have formed in their hearts.
Drawing from the philosophy of Lao Zhuang, Yue believes that the act of letting go is a state of humanity; to be able to give all up, keeps one from conflict with society and cultivates a state of inner peace and calm. In his own words, problems can be resolved with laughter - it makes them simply disappear without causing any heartache.
By employing techniques of traditional painting, multiple clones of his self-portrait have been created in order to invent a new icon; an approach adopted similarly in television and movies. Creating with the intention to articulate complex issues in a simple but appealing fashion, Yue's preference for vibrant colours of folk culture renders his creations universal and palatable to the public.
An internationally-acclaimed artist, Yue's works have been exhibited since 1987, two years after pursuing his studies with the Oil Painting Department of Hebei Normal University in China. With several works acquired by and showcased in a number of museums in China, France and the U.S.A., Yue Minjun is today one of China's most prominent avant-garde artists.