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Mr. Yang Yongsheng is a leading Chinese printmaker from Yunnan province. Currently (2006) he makes his master degree in fine arts at the printmaking department of Hawaii University as a fellow of the Ford Foundation. Yang Yongsheng works in reduction woodblocks, woodblocks and a special form of "positive etchings".
First Publication: June 2006
Latest Update: April 2013
His works from the 1990s are a part of the history of what is now called the Yunnan Art School. Prints by the artist have received numerous prizes at the great national, annual print and art shows of China and are in Chinese and Japanese museums.
Yang Yongsheng was born in 1967 in Qujing City, Yunnan Province. In 1991 he graduated from the printmaking department of Yunnan Art University.
Even before his graduation the artist soon achieved the maximum recognition for printmakers in China - the admission to the nation-wide, annual Chinese Print Exhibitions and the annual, national Chinese Art Exhibitions.
These are still today the most important national exhibition events for Chinese artists. Several works by the young artist had received prices in these grand shows and had been taken into the collections of several museums. The National Art Museum of China was one of them.
After his graduation Yang Yongsheng joined the Qujing Printmaking Institute as a professional artist. The same year he became a member of Yunnan Artists' Association. He was also elected as Vice-Secretary General of Qujing Artists' Association. In 1996, he became the Vice-President of Qujing Printmaking Institute.
And in 1999 Yang Yongsheng became a member of China Artists Association. The very same year, he became President of the Qujing Printmaking Institute. In 2002 he was elected as the Chairman of Qujing Artist Association.
In 2004 Mr. Yang Yongsheng had been accepted for a full scholarship by the Ford Foundation. In January 2006 the artist came to Hawaii, U.S.A. to study at Hawaii University for a master degree in fine arts/printmaking.
Mr. Yang Yongsheng is very happy to have been selected as one of 460 fellows out of 20,000 applicants from 22 countries. And he is especially proud to be the second applicant from China to be accepted by the Ford Foundation in the field of fine arts.
Mr. Yang Yongsheng works in the techniques of woodblocks, reduction woodblocks and a special form of etching. The etching technique used by Yang Yongsheng can be described as Etching Positive Print. Hardly anybody in China used this technique before him. The artist explains it as follows:
"My technique is different from traditional etching. Traditional etching is commonly seen as negative printing where the ink is in the incised lines and where a hand or mechanical press is used for printing. But my method is positive printing. The ink is on the bulge area and the entire printing process is done by hand - like for traditional woodcut prints. The only difference is that the carving is replaced by the acid."
"Before my fist creations in this technique - a series of insects - hardly anybody used this technique in China. These prints ware collected by National Art Museum of China in 1991. The effect of this special technique is different from traditional etching and woodcut. The printing process is more difficult and requires more skill. Some critics in China call it Etching Positive Print."
(original text edited by artelino)
The woodblock prints and reduction woodblock prints that he created in the 1990s are typical for what is today called the Yunnan Art School. It is hard to describe in words what "Yunnan Art School" stands for unless you have seen works by artists like Ma Li, Zhang Xiaochun, Cheng Hsu or Hao Ping. The common bond of "Yunnan Art School" are expressive compositions in usually strong, vivid colors, subjects taken from the world of the so-called ethnic minority population in Yunnan (who live mostly in the subtropical South of Yunnan province), the use of thick oil-based colors and the dominant use of the technique of the reduction woodblock print. This technique is said to have even been invented in Yunnan.
Many of the Yunnan artists who create images from the lives and legends of the ethnic minority people in Yunnan, are also attracted by subjects from Tibet. Yang Yongsheng is no exception. Among his print works are quite a few that show images from Tibet. Both, the Tibetans and the ethnic minority groups in Yunnan practice Buddhism.
The editions of woodblock prints by Yang Yongsheng from the 1990s and later are small - some of them extremely small with only 10 or 20 copies. At the time when these prints were created, they were not made for an art market - it did not exist in China at that time - but mainly for the fame of the artist.
And fame was identical with being admitted to the annual national Chinese print and art shows. And the ultimate fame was to receive an award at these exhibitions. This often meant that the awarded works were shown later in official state-organized exhibitions outside China and/or that they were taken into the collections of Chinese or foreign museums.
Yang Yongsheng is one of the artists whose prints have been accepted, awarded and made their way into several museums in China and Japan.
In this video you see the artist while he was in Hawaii. He is fooling around a bit with his comrades. Quite funny. Don't take it serious.
201 sold object(s) by Yang Yongsheng born 1967 in our Art Archive
Author: Dieter Wanczura
.. more about Dieter Wanczura
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Works by emerging Chinese artists in BUYDIRECT.