Graduated from the Academy of Fine arts of Guangshou and trained by great Taoists masters, Yang Jiechang has wielded a paintbrush from the age of 3. Trained in calligraphy and traditional Chinese painting, the artist is invited to come to Paris and present his works in the mythical exhibition held by the Centre Pompidou in 1989, “Les Magiciens de la Terre”. This invitation changed the course of his life as he decided to move definitively to France. The series presented in the exhibition, 100 Layers of Ink, were developed by the artist until the early 2000’s. The works are marked by the thick application of successive layers of traditional ink, obtained by a distillation of cypress wood charcoal, various essential oils, resins and extracts of medicinal plants. The precise treatment of rice paper and bands of gauze allows the artist to fix the materials in thickness, through repetition, and to play at the same time with relief and brilliance of the matte background.
In a more figurative style called Gong-bi, his recent paintings maintain the artist’s well-mastered technique that consists in holding his small paintbrush in a perfectly vertical axis above the canvas, in order to impel in the moment a clear, pronounced and sharp line. The use of ceramics or sculpture in the work Underground Flowers, 1989-2009, is simply a calligraphic extension, on a new material, of what the artist could not achieve in painting. Composed of 2009 bones in porcelain of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and presented in wooden crates, the installation alludes to time that flies by and the political changes between 1989 and 2009. Initially created for the Biennale of Lyon, the installation was presented in 2015 for the exhibition “La Chine ardente” in Mons (Belgium), at Museum of Natural History (FIAC 2015) and in the exhibition “Quinte-Essence, air — water — earth — fire — ether” at the gallery in 2015.