Chinese Landscapes Painted on Face and Body

Body painting by Huang Yan (4)

Huang Yan’s body painting series “makes reference to a Chinese cultural heritage that is innate to every Chinese person. Since the earliest paintings of the Han dynasty and the apotheosis of the theorization of landscape painting during the Song dynasty, landscape paintings have become the quintessence of Chinese art.” [1]

Notes about the artist: [2]

In 1999, when Huang Yan began a series of paintings-photographs entitled Chinese Landscapes – landscapes painted on the skin of a human body – his work was immediately noticed by curators of the highest regard, including Feng Boyi and Ai Weiwei, who selected several prints for their pivotal and explosive exhibition Fuck Off in Shanghai in 2000. Very few artists, in expressing the encounter between Chinese traditional culture and the contemporary world, have succeeded in simultaneously capturing the fusion and the paradox that this encounter generates. […] landscape paintings have become the quintessence of Chinese art. Yet the artist breaks this heritage at the same time as giving it a new direction, by transposing it onto the human body, the human body that was very rarely used in the ancient culture of painting, but that has played a very important role in the development of contemporary art in China since the end of the 1970s.

Body painting by Huang Yan (1) Body painting by Huang Yan (5)
Photo courtesy of Courtesy of Galerie Loft, Paris.
Body painting by Huang Yan (2) Body painting by Huang Yan (6) Body painting by Huang Yan (7) Body painting by Huang Yan (3)
Photo courtesy of CENTERpiece Gallery.
1/2. "Huang Yan (Chinese 1966), Chinese Shanshui Tattoo #3." Wiegersma Fine Art. Retrieved on January 4th, 2012.

Photos © Huang Yan

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Adriana de Barros

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Adriana has created successful projects for over 15 years in the fields of art, design, illustration, fashion and web. She is the Webby-winning designer and editor-in-chief of Scene360 magazine. When not online, she is enjoying the quiet life walking her shih tzu at seaside. Follow the author @ Instagram , Twitter, Facebook and view more articles.

February 6, 2012 Art Body Art Landscape Painting