An art style that was developed in China during the Cultural Revolution, it represents an organic, rebellious form of expression for artists who were sent to Yunnan province to produce government propaganda. Instead the artists began blending Eastern & Western elements to produce something completely new. Consisting of rich, colorful figurative artwork with a blend of exotic, erotic, and even religious elements, this style was first exposed to the west in the late 1970’s and early 80’s.
Yunnan School is an art style/movement that developed in China from the 1960's through the 1980's. The name refers from from the southwestern frontier province of the same name that had existed as a culturally diverse region since ancient times. During the cultural revolution, many young urban intellectuals were sent to rural areas like Yunnan province to be taught a simple agrarian way of life that would help support the communist economy. A handful of talented artists were also sent here to produce posters and propaganda for the government.
Yunnan province is a semi-tropical, mountainous region with abundant resources and rich ecological life. Ironically, the artists who were sent there to be controlled, became inspired by the colorful, religious and ethnically diverse cultures. Several of these artists like Teng Fie Jiang, and Ting Shao Kuang began infusing Western techniques and styles like Cubism and Art Nouveau with some of the cultural and religious traditions of various tribes and people in the region.
The result is an exotic mix of of rich, heavy color and beautiful contemporary female forms combined with traditional symbolism and customs. A National Geographic reporter was among the first Westerners to see this amazing work and was able to set up a showing in Hong Kong where it was met with critical acclaim. Later after the Cultural revolution ended, several of these artists came to the US where they continued to paint and expose this new and beautiful style to the public. We have a wonderful sampling of serigraphs and paintings from the Yunnan school including Tie Feng Jang, Ting Shao Kuang, Lu Hong, Liu Ke Ming, and others.
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