Yue Min Jun is one of China’s leading artists.
The 44-year-old, who works in Beijing, has a trademark on which to immediately identify his works: laughing figures that show the artist himself in various representations. Men always have more teeth than you want – like the expensive smile of models advertising the latest toothpaste. By repeatedly using his own image within his works, Yue transforms himself into an icon of the spiritual emptiness of our present world. Through the use of traditional painting techniques, multible clones of his self-portrait were created to invent a new idol. A similar approach to that used in television and movies.
Yue’s trademark – laughter – seems superficial, mindless and even cynical, but at the same time revealing and compelling. The attitudes of the laughing figures often result from unnatural distortions. The laughter itself is neither natural nor spontaneous. Yue uses it to cast doubt on the general view of reality. His works combine basic elements of the propaganda posters of the “Cultural Revolution” (1966-1976) with those of modern advertising. Many of Yue’s works contain certain symbols such as the Sun, Tiananmen Square, red flags, slogans, red lanterns and balloons. In doing so, it deliberately evokes the visual kind of advertising that emerged with the Chinese market economy of the late 1980s.