Huang Yan (Chinese, b.1966) combines painting, photography, and sculpture to explore modes of narrative and landscape, as well as other traditional forms of artistic representation in contemporary China. Born in Jilin Province, Huang studied at the Changchun Normal Academy, and moved to Beijing in 1987. In his sculpted, painted, and photographed works, pigment and pattern obscure a wide range of materials from meat to busts of Mao Zedong and even human skin. In several series, he evokes the traditional art of Chinese landscape painting with a Contemporary twist: he photographs faces, backs, and entire bodies covered with landscape attributes that have been painted or tattooed onto their skin. Huang melds historical Chinese culture with new art forms, alluding to the body and performance art of the Chinese avant-garde. In sculpted works, he covers images of Mao Zedong and the Venus de Milo in painted patterns, merging Pop sensibilities of iconography and replication with allusions to the changing socio-political atmosphere of China following the Cultural Revolution. He has exhibited his work in London, Chicago, New York, Beijing, Milan, Berne, Hong Kong, and other sites around the world, and currently lives and works in Beijing.


Born in Jilin Province
Changchun Normal Academy
Presently lectures at Changchun University
He is particularly known for his series of landscape on body works which are classical paintings directly painted on the body or face of the artist.
The artist currently lives and works in Beijing


Rising Dragon: Contemporary Chinese Photography, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, California
Matrix: Landscape Exhibition, Leo Gallery, Shanghai, China
Picturesque Landscape: Huang Yan Solo Exhibition, Beijing, China
Areochine & Huang Yan, Leo Gallery, Shanghai, China
ART BASEL, Switzerland
1st International Ink Painting Biennale of Lin Zhou, China
The Armory Show, USA
Body Scape 2012, V!P's International Art Galleries, Rotterdam, Netherlands
The New China, Leo Gallery, Shanghai, China
Huang Yan Solo Exhibition, Leo Gallery, Shanghai, China (solo)
Huang Yan Retrospective, Hong Kong Art Centre, Presented by Leo Gallery, Hong Kong (solo)
Faces, Leo Gallery, Shanghai, China
Asian Ink Masters, Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, New York, NY
Body Art, Cornerstone Arts Center, Colorado Springs, CO
Michelle Mosko Fine Art, Denver, CO (solo)
Cuba Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana,Cuba
Beijing - Havana, New Contemporary Chinese art Revolution
Move No. 4, Qizhan Art Museum, Shanghai, China
VERSION-Chang Chun New Art Movement Of The 1980s Zhu Qizhan Art Museum Shanghai, China
Body Art Exhibition, Foothills Art Center, Golden, CO
interactive field of vision——Chinese leading contemporary art exhibition Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art Shanghai, China
Free Zone: China Spazio in BSI, Via Magatti 2, Lugano, Switzerland
Art Paris 2008 Grand Palais, Paris, France
China... Forward! TSUM, Moscow, Russia
June Chinese Zodiac-Huang Yan’s Solo Exhibition of Oil Paintings San Shang Art Space Beijing (solo)
Contemporary China: Codes, visions and representations of the contemporary Chinese art, Rome Italy
Zen Painting, Must Be Art Center, Beijing (solo)
Xin Dong Cheng International Art Studio, Beijing (solo)
VIPS International Art Galleries, Holland Cotter (solo)
Northeast Contemporary Art Exhibition, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangdong
Post Electronic Image, Must Be Art Center, Beijing
Relic, Irrawaddy Art City, Chicago, IL
Old and Well-known Family from Photography: Father, Son and I, Must Be Art Center, Beijing
Boundless Pause, Must Be Art Center, Beijing
Soldiers at the Gates-China/Chai-na, Architecture Art Exhibition, 706 East Space, Beijing China
China Cutting Edge: New Video Art from Shanghai and Beijing, Anthology Film Archives, New York
Critical-2, Zero Field, Beijing
The Other End: Contemporary Experimental Art and Design Exhibition, He Xiangning Art Musuem, Shenzhen, China
Post Factory-Come and Gone, Beijing
100 International Artists in Casoria Contemporary Art Museum, Italy
Out of the Red-II: The Photographic Session, Marella Gallery, Milan, Italy
Percipience, Red Gate Gallery, Beijing (solo)
Chinese Contemporary Gallery, London (solo)
Marella Gallery, Beijing (solo)
Between Past and Future, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA
Forge the Fable, Li Xiangqun Studio, Beijing
Ceramics, Must Be Art Center, Beijing
Post Calligraphy, Must Be Art Center, Beijing
Marella Space Project, Como (solo)
1st Guangzhou Triennale, Guangzhou Museum of Art Guangzhou, China
The Body Everywhere, Museum of Contemporary Art, Marseilles, France
Officinal Asia, Museum of Contemporary Art, Bologna, Italy
Between Past and Future: New photography and video, ICP, New York , NY
Imaging China and Huang Yan, New York, NY
China / Israeli Image Art Exhibition, Israeli Embassy, Beijing
Distance Measuring, Shenzhen Video Art Festival
Polish International Video Art Festival, Warsaw, Poland
Italy International Video Art Festival, Rome, Italy
Ceramic Art Exhibition on Elongation & Breakthrough, Guangdong Art Gallery
Prague Biennial, Prague
Mirage Heaven, Prague, Czech Republic
4th Annual International Behaviour Art Exhibition, Changchun
3rd World Art Exhibition, Milan, Italy (solo)
Eastlink Gallery, Shanghai (solo)
Reflecting on Tradition, Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong (solo)
Ideal Image of Huang Yan, Beijing Contemporary Art Gallery (solo)
Huang Yan 1998. Post Art Exhibition, Beijing Contemporary Art Gallery (solo)
Conceptual Image of Huang Yan, Proper Art Gallery (solo)
Postal Art of Huang Yan, Beijing Contemporary Art Gallery (solo)
Poetry Art of Huang Yan, Proper Art Gallery (solo)
Carving a Chair, Proper Art Gallery, Shenyang (solo)
Photographs and Prints by Huang Yan and Eight Other Artists, Hanart Gallery, Hong Kong
First Biennial Exhibition of Chinese Art in the 1990s, Guangzhou
Beijing Xi-san-huan: Chinese Art Documentaries, Beijing


China Art Book, Uta Grosenick (Editor) / Caspar Schübbe (Editor), 680 pages, approx. 850 images, trilingual: Engl./Ger./Chin., Dumont Buchverlag, Cologne, 2007