Championed by the influential alternative gallery Beijing Commune, Huang Yuxing is one of China’s artistic stars. Here he speaks to LUX about art, life, and everything.
Born in Beijing in 1975, Huang Yuxing graduated from The Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in 2000. Brought up during China’s meteoric rise to the world’s largest economy, Yuxing’s work have been described as “highly political” although they do not feature humans. Instead, Yuxing’s pieces contain brightly coloured geometric patterns, originally inspired by everyday structures, deconstructed.
“What you feel from my works is my disturbance about the future,” says Yuxing about his pieces. “In my growing years, many good things around me disappeared, but new ones will appear anyway. The future is difficult to predict but it remains, it is still there even if the whole world was destructed.”
“Yuxing is from a new generation of artists that have been brought up in the period when the country has gradually steered itself from political fever to economic development,” says Lu Jingjing, director of Beijing Commune, the gallery representing Yuxing. “In a sense, they experience the influence of ideology in a much different way from the predecessors.”
“His work first attracted me with the tension he created. I think you feel the power the moment you stand in front of a Huang Yuxing painting.”
Yuxing has produced an extensive body of work with a variety of focuses. His “Diary” series touched upon different issues from internet suicide to a bird’s eye view of Hainan Island, all painted on keyhole shaped boards, intended to make the audience into peeping toms. His 2007 work, “When I need Love” saw the artist paint directly on to Ikea clocks, depicting physical brutality, recreation and loneliness, drawn together by the regular tick of the mechanisms.
“My works, which concern now will be a thing of the past. They are presented to the audiences honestly, with no sense of mystery. For me, the shapes attached with colours and feelings in my works, presented deeply, touch hearts. The mystery you feel is from the incomplete perception of the truth, but it would interest you to get into the truth which makes my works more attractive.”
Yuxing insists that he does not intend to intimidate his audience.
“If you can feel that, it means this quality lives in your heart already,” he says. “My work just brings it out.”