Sailing in the Great Sea Depends on the Helmsman, 2006
160 x 42 x 42 cm

artist profile

Huang Yan



lives and works

Beijing, China


Changchun Normal Academy, Jilin, China, 1987

about the artist

Currently a lecturer at Changchun University, China, Huang Yan has masterfully traversed many forms of artistic practice. Performance, painting, photography, sculpture—he connects media in order to create an expression that relates to the past as much as it pertains to the present. The human figure as surface, onto which he pays explicit reverence to the tradition of classical Chinese painting by applying landscapes, is his primary approach. For many years, Huang has been a regular participator in many pivotal exhibitions of contemporary Chinese art, including the controversial Fuck Off exhibition held at the Eastlink Gallery in Shanghai in 2000; the definitive 1st Guangzhou Triennale at the Guangdong Museum of Art in Guangzhou in 2002; and the landmark Between the Past and Future: New Photograph and Video from China, which passed through New York, Chicago, Seattle, and London between 2004 and 2005. His work is regularly reproduced or referenced in canonical publications on contemporary Chinese art, and is collected by private and public collections all over the world, such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, USA, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, UK. 

  • Selected exhibition history
  • Permanent collections
  • Projects
  • Editions
  • Publications
  • Recent news

Asia Society & Museum, New York, USA

Krannert Art Museum at University of Illinois, Champaign, USA

Ruiz-Zulueta Collection, Spain

The Museum of Modern Art, New York USA

Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK

White Rabbit Collection, Australia