Graduated from the Academy of Fine arts of Guangzhou and trained by great Taoists masters, Yang Jiechang has wielded a paintbrush from the age of 3. Trained in calligraphy and traditional Chinese painting, the artist is invited to come to Paris and present his works in the mythical exhibition held by the Centre Pompidou in 1989, “Les Magiciens de la Terre”. This invitation changed the course of his life as he decided to move definitively to France. The series presented in the exhibition, 100 Layers of Ink, were developed by the artist until the early 2000’s. The works are marked by the thick application of successive layers of traditional ink, obtained by a distillation of cypress wood charcoal, various essential oils, resins and extracts of medicinal plants. The precise treatment of rice paper and bands of gauze allows the artist to fix the materials in thickness, through repetition, and to play at the same time with relief and brilliance of the matte background. In a more figurative style called Gong-bi, his recent paintings maintain the artist’s well-mastered technique that consists in holding his small paintbrush in a perfectly vertical axis above the canvas, in order to impel in the moment a clear, pronounced and sharp line. The use of ceramics or sculpture in the work Underground Flowers, 1989-2009, is simply a calligraphic extension, on a new material, of what the artist could not achieve in painting. Composed of 2009 bones in porcelain of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and presented in wooden crates, the installation alludes to time that flies by and the political changes between 1989 and 2009. Initially created for the Biennale of Lyon, the installation was presented in 2015 for the exhibition “La Chine ardente” in Mons (Belgium), at Museum of Natural History (FIAC 2015) and in the exhibition “Quinte-Essence, air – water – earth – fire – ether” at the gallery in 2015.
In 2016, Yang Jiechang is invited again by the curator, Jean-Hubert Martin, to participate at the exhibition “Carambolages” at the Grand Palais in Paris. A work by the artist is also presented at the exhibition “Le contemporain dessiné”, Hors-les-Murs of the fair Drawing Now, at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, and at the fair Art Dubaï.
On the occasion of Yang Jiechang’s 60th birthday, a solo exhibition entitled “On Earth as in Heaven” took place at the gallery presenting a selection of 20 works by the artist, from different creative periods.
In 2017, the work Allah, Jesus, Buddha and your Bones is presented at the exhibition “Corps et Ames” at the gallery. That same year, a work by Yang Jiechang is presented on the occasion of the exhibition “Passion de l’Art – Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger depuis 1925”, first retrospective devoted to the galerie, at Musée Granet in Aix-en-Provence.
An edition of a porcelain skull, which refers to the installation Underground Flowers, a co-production between the gallery and the Lyon Biennial in 2009, is presented at the exhibition “Artes e Letras : as edições da Galeria Jeanne Bucher Jaeger”, at the Árpád Szenes-Vieira da Silva Foundation in Lisbon, Portugal. This exhibition is devoted to the significant publishing activity of the gallery since 1925 until today.
To celebrate 30 years of collaboration with Yang Jiechang, the gallery is pleased to present the exhibition Dark Writing in 2019, in conjunction with the major retrospective entitled Three Souls and Seven Spirits at the Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum.
Invited to the Manufacture de Sèvres, Yang Jiechang collaborated with the Manufacture’s decorative craftsmen using the forgotten technique of “pâte-sur-pâte” to create his work Tale of the 11th Day. The artist has created a series of eleven vases entitled Tale of the 11th Day, which will be exhibited from October to December 2021 at the Galerie de Sèvres, Paris, and then presented at the Musée Guimet from July 6 to October 24, 2022 as part of the Carte Blanche that the Musée national des arts asiatiques – Guimet is dedicating to the artist.
Yang Jiechang’s work is also being shown in the exhibition Ink in Motion – A History of Chinese Painting in the 20th Century (L’Encre en Mouvement, une histoire de la Peinture Chinoise au XXème siècle) at the Musée Cernuschi from October 20, 2022, to February 19, 2023.