Huang Yan was born in Yongzhou, Hunan Province, in 1978. His hometown is a city profoundly influenced by the culture of the Zhou Dynasty ‘Chu’ state which once controlled most of present-day Hunan and Hubei, as well as other areas, before being overthrown by the Qin in 223 BCE. Huang Yan has been interested in aspects of this culture, from the ancient calligraphy known as ‘Bird and Worm’ script to archaeological findings such as bronze vessels bearing motifs of mystical animals such as dragons and phoenixes. Chu culture was deeply influenced by Daoist belief and shamanic ritual. Huang has said: I am particularly attracted by customs of divination from which mysterious information hiding behind history can be felt … a world beyond the real world.’ Although he studied in the Sculpture Department at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, graduating in 2004, he later changed the focus of his practice to include oil painting and printmaking. Huang’s paintings reveal his interest in the supernatural and the subconscious mind; his paintings are often inspired by images that emerge unexpectedly when the eye is focused closely upon something quite ordinary. A mottled wall, the flames of a fire, the patterns made by moving clouds, the mind subconsciously creates imagery which becomes rich source materials for the artist. Huang Yan’s work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions in China, Korea, the Netherlands and Belgium. He lives and works in Beijing.
The White Rabbit Collection is one of the world’s most extensive and significant collections of contemporary art from China. With a focus on works created since the year 2000, the Collection contains almost 3,000 works by over 750 artists and continues to expand. Note that when you click on the link below you will be forwarded to the White Rabbit Collection website.