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First major Europe solo for laughing man artist at Fondation Cartier for Contemporary Art

Yue Minjun, one of the most popular Chinese artists today marked another feather in his cap when he opened his first major show in Europe in Paris. If one haven’t already know, Yue is the artist who brought the world his laughing man paintings which have garnered much popularity around the globe. His laughing-man self-portraits were first introduced at the 1999 Art Biennale in Venice which took the world by storm and from there, people starting taking notice of his works.

Since then, Yue, who was a former electrician has gone on to greater heights through his signature style and subject matter to every gallery possible. The artist comes from Daqing located around the north-east of China where he grew up during the Cultural Revolution. He was an oil field electrician before embarking into the art in 1985 and in 1991, he joined an artist community near Beijing and before long, he and other artists formed the ‘Cynical Realism’ movement.

The show was held at Paris’ The Fondation Cartier and according to Herve Chandes, the director it was a challenge to put together the show for Yue who had loaned about 100 preparatory sketches to the gallery. Those were works that were never seen in public and were used in his studio seen only by some while the showcase had a lot of the laughing faces that Yue had often been associated with. Entitled ‘Yue Minjun, Laughter Shadow’, it depicted the ‘contemporary China’ through the social and political context which is often well exuded by Yue and his body of work.