Yang Xiaojian

1960, Taiyuan Shanxi Province China

Introduction

Yang Xiaojian, known as the "Oriental Ink Beast," is an artist who challenges both native tradition and western influence through his strong and visually compelling abstract, calligraphic ink paintings. From calligraphy to text, from calligraphy to painting, and from Chinese tradition to western experiences, Yang's oeuvre crosses cultural boundaries.

Yang was born in 1960 in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, China. In the early '70s his primary studies were abruptly halted and he endured the hardship of farm labor. He was subsequently sent to special schools for singing, dancing and physical education before attending a traditional secondary school and serving a short stint in the Beijing Military Area Command artillery unit.

In the late '70s, Yang manifested a strong interest in illustrations, artistic calligraphy and masthead design, and frequently copied calligraphy and illustrations. Under the tutelage of Masters Yan Jun and Yuan Xulin he studied the ancient calligraphy style of the Han Dynasty called Han Li. In the mid '80s, under the guidance of Master Tian Shuchang, he began exploring the cursive calligraphic styles of Yan Lugong and Fu Shan. Yang proliferated this cursive style and in 1987 received an award for his pursuit of self-improvement through independent study by the Taiyuan Labour Union. In that same year, Yang created a plaque for Shan Nian Temple in Anshou Country, Japan and won an award of merit in the National Hard-tipped Calligraphy Competition.

Since his graduation in 1989 from the Correspondence University of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy, Yang has received several accolades, including the highest "gold" prize in the Tianya Cup International Calligraphy Contest and 3rd runner in the Kele Cup Calligraphy Contest” (Both 1990, China). His works are featured in several collections and publications, including the Collection of International and Modern Calligraphy and Seal Carving of the 20th Century and the Dictionary of Contemporary Painters and Calligraphists. 

In 1999 Yang established the Yang Xiaojian’s Artistic School and built his first studio Daming Hall, followed by the establishment of Blacksight Studio in the Moganshan M50 Art Zone, Shanghai, China (2005). 





BIOGRAPHY
1960    Born in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province, China
1970    Stopped his primary studies and experienced the hardship of farm work
1971    Was sent to Taiyuan Youth Palace to be initiated to dancing and singing 
1972    Entered Taiyuan Physical Education (PE) School, China
1973    Entered Taiyuan No. 25 Middle School, China 
1976    As PE Special Forces was recruited into Shijiazhuang Artillery of Beijing Military Area Command
1977    Manifested a strong interest in illustrations, artistic calligraphy and masthead design, frequently copied the artistic calligraphy and illustrations
1984    Learned Li style calligraphy from Mr. Yan Jun
1985    Received guidance from Mr.Yuan Xulin in the cursive style calligraphy of Fu Shan
1987    Received an award for his pursuit of self-improvement through independent study by Taiyuan Labour Union
Participated in National Pen Calligraphy Competition and won the special award
1990    Won the highest prize “Gold Prize” in Tianya Cup International Calligraphy Contest, Sanya, China
His works and biography were included in the Dictionary of Contemporary Painters and Calligraphists
1991    3rd runner up of 2nd Tournament of International Cultural Exchange – Kele Cup Calligraphy Contest, China
1993    His works were included in the Collection of International and Modern Calligraphy and Seal Carving in the 20th Century and received the honour of International Cultural Exchange
1999    Established the Yang Xiaojian’s Artistic School and built his first studio Daming Hall
Joined 3rd National Exhibition for Couplet Writing, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China
2002    Recognised as the “Ink Beast”
2005    Established Blacksight Studio in Maganshan M50 art Zone, Shanghai, China


SELECED SOLO EXHIBITONS

2019  
2018 
  • I Walk My Single Bridge, Wuxi Center 66, Wuxi, China
2017 
  • Follow Your Heart, Easyhome Top Art Centre, Taiyuan, China
2013
  • L’Ecole des Filles, Huelgoat, France

  • Francoise Livinec Galerie, Paris, France

  • Kloster Marienthal, Cologne, Germany

  • Casa Pasquee, Lugano, Switzerland

2007
  • Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, Kyoto, Japan

2006
  • Soukoku Gallery, Kyoto, Japan

  • Art Gallery of North Kamakura, Tokyo, Japan

2005
  • Black Sight Studio, Shanghai, China



SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2017  
  • Works on Paper Art Fair, Switzerland
2016  
  • London International Art Show, London, UK

2015  
  • LA Art 2015, Los Angeles, USA

  • Palm Beach Art, Palm Beach, USA

  • Contemporary Art Fair, Taipei, Taiwan

  • Abstraction: Calligraphic works by Yang Xiaojian and Shao Yan, Alisan Fine Arts-Aberdeen, Hong Kong
2014  
  • Art Paris, Grand Palais, Paris, France
  • Art Elysee, Paris, France 
  • Contemporary Art Asia, Hong Kong
2013 
  • Louvre Salon Automne, Paris, France

  • International Contemporary Artists Exhibition, Art and Design Salon, Paris, France

2011   
  • International Calligraphy Exhibition, Wiesbaden, Germany 
2010   
  • Context Calligraphy Exhibition, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China 
2009   
  • Contemporary Calligraphy: New Works by Wei Ligang & Yang Xiaojian, Alisan Fne Arts-Aberdeen, Hong Kong
2006   
  • Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary Art, 0 C Space, Beijing, China

  • Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary Art, Song Zhuang, Beijing, China

2005
  • Exhibition around Songzhuang, Songzhuang China, Beijing China

  • Writing Non-writing: International Modern Calligraphy Exhibition, China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China

  • Yang Xiaojian and Wei Ligang: Construct Ink Map, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China

  • International Modern Calligraphy Biennale: Air and Expansion, Mulpa Art Centre, Seoul, Korea

2004
  • 2nd National Exhibition for Fashionable Writing Style, Contemporary Gallery, Beijing, China
2003 
  • Exhibition for International Famous Calligraphers, Seoul, Korea

  • National Exhibition for Famous Toung Calligraphers and 1st Exhibition for Young and Mid-aged Calligraphers’ Works in Shanxi, Shanxi Wenlian Building, Taiyuan, China

  • Exhibition for Fifteen Nominated Calligraphers, Jiangsu Traditional Chinese Painting Art Museum, Nanjing, China

1999 
  • 3rd Exhibition for Couplet Writing, National Art Museum of China, Beijing China
1998 
  • 7th Exhibition of Calligraphy and Seal Carving for Young and Mid-aged Artists, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China 
  • Arts Starry Sky: Artistic Salon Exhibition, Shanxi Wenlian Building, Taiyuan, China
1993
  • Exhibition for International Famous Calligraphers in 20th Century, Beijing, China 
1992
  • Galleries in Kyoto, Kobe and Osaka, Japan

SELECTED AWARDS
1985    National Contest of Youth Diary” of the International Youth Year, Second Prize, Changsha, China
1986    Successful Self-taught Workers in Taiyuan”, Awarded by Taiyuan Labour Union, Taiyuan, China
1987    National Contest for Youth on Pen Calligraphy, Special Prize, Beijing, China
1988    Yellow River International Contest for Poem, Calligraphy, Paintings and Imprints, Yellow River Beilin (Stele Forest) Prize, Zhengzhou, China
1989    Calligraphy Contest, First National Pen Calligraphy Contest at Levels of Province, City and Municipality, First Prize, Beijing
China Shusheng (Master of Calligraphy) Cup for International, Third Prize, Linxin, China
1990    Tianya Cup International Calligraphy Contest, Gold Prize, Sanya
China Creation Exhibition for the 5th Anniversary of China Painting and Calligraphy Correspondence University and the Graduates
1987-1990    Prize for Excellent Work, Beijing, China
1991    2nd Tournament of International Cultural Exchange-Kele Cup Calligraphy, Third Prize, Beijing, China
1993    Honour of International Cultural Exchange, Beijing, China
2003    First Exhibition for Young and Mid-aged Calligrapher’s Works in Shanxi, First Prize, Taiyuan, China

SELECTED COLLECTIONS
American National Air Company, Chicago, USA
Tony Chi Consulting Company, New York, USA
Lafayette 148, New York, USA
Portman Hotel, USA
The Rockefeller Family, USA
Canada East-sun Group, Vancouver, Canada
LVMH, France
Plastic Omnium, France
Deutsche Bank, Elizebeth Houde, Germany
Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (International) PA, Architects and Planning Consultants, London, United Kingdom
Art Gallery of North Kamakura, Kamakura, Japan
Old Fissure Association Ltd, Kyoto, Japan
National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China
Today Art Museum, Beijing, China
National World Financial Centre, Shanghai, China
Grand Hyatt, Chengdu, China
Lian Jade Group, Taiwan