Yuan Jai


Lithography / engraving, painting, mixed media

Yuan Jai

Past: February 5 → April 27, 2020

Yuan Jai was born in Chongqing (Sichuan) in 1941. Her father, a military man and a man of letters, was close to Chiang Kai-shek and the family moved to Taiwan in 1947. She studied Chinese painting in the Fine Arts Department of the National Taiwan Normal University, then the history of art and restoration in Louvain University and at the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage, in Brussels (IRPA). On returning to Taiwan after further studies at the British Museum and in various American Institutions, she worked in the restoration department — going on to become its director — at the National Palace Museum in Taipei for thirty years, before devoting herself to her artistic practice. She lives and works in Taiwan with her husband, filmmaker Richard Yao-Chi Chen, a figure in the Taiwanese New Wave.

Yuan Jai produces large-format works using ink on silk, a base she appreciates for the relief in its weave and its capacity to support the weight of colours obtained from mineral pigments. The vibrant colours reflect the attention to detail, the jubilatory and organic expansion of forms reflects the mastery of stroke acquired through a long practice of calligraphy. Luxurious landscapes, phantasmagorical bestiaries, biographical elements and contemporary motifs are intermingled with references to the history of European and Oriental art. Asserting her autonomy and the singularity of her expression, Yuan Jai occupies a central position in contemporary Taiwanese art. She works against the dualities that saturate Western narratives of modernity: line and colour, tradition and innovation, writing and visuality. The references running through her work suggest neither a loss of nor a nostalgia for a vanished culture but rather evoke, and not without humour and irony, a complex and optimistic cultural narrative.

The works of Yuan Jai have been the subject of many solo and collective exhibitions, among which “The Art of Yuan Jai”, Taipei Fine Arts Museum (1993), “Inside Out: New Chinese Art, Asia Society Galleries”, New York/San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1998), “Visions of Pluralism: Contemporary Art in Taiwan, 1988-1999”, National Art Museum of China, Beijing (1999), “The Art of World”, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2000), “Art in Motion”, Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai (2006).

04 Beaubourg Zoom in 04 Beaubourg Zoom out

Place Georges Pompidou

75004 Paris

T. 01 44 78 12 33 — F. 01 44 78 16 73


Hôtel de Ville

Opening hours

Every day except Tuesday, 11 AM – 9 PM
Late night on Thursday until 11 PM
ATTENTION : A compter du samedi 17 octobre 2020, tous les espaces du Centre Pompidou (les Galeries, le Musée, la Bpi, les salles de spectacles et de cinéma) fermeront à 20h. Les derniers accès aux expositions se feront à 18h.

Admission fee

Full rate €14.00 — Concessions €11.00

Gratuit pour les moins de 18 ans, billet exonéré pour les moins de 26 ans. Et pour tout le monde, les premiers dimanches du mois.

Venue schedule

The artist

  • Yuan Jai