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Discover Ye Xingqian gallery- Focus on Ye Xingqian's poetic and contemporary work !

Shadows and light, 220x492cm

YE Xingqian, born in 1963, is a naturalised French painter of Chinese origin. He has been painting since the age of five. In 2008, after years in which his life as an artist was divided between working for food and creating, he devoted all his time to painting and set up his studio in a large room in Montreuil, just outside Paris. In 2018, five watercolours on rice paper entered the permanent collection of the Musée national des arts asiatiques - Guimet. In 2021, it is a large ink on canvas that joined the collection of the Musée Cernuschi. In China, his painting, at first misunderstood, has been regularly exhibited for some years now and the artist has acquired a good reputation.

What triggered your vocation as an artist?

I was very young, so young that I can't remember exactly. My great-grandfather was a sculptor.  I think that coming from a family of artists gave me the opportunity to follow my inclination for art. I learnt sculpture with my older brother before taking up calligraphy.

How would you describe your studio ?

It's a place of work, but also a place of life, a place of passage. A collection of memories and emotions. Each work represents a story in my journey as an artist.

When I look at this large oil on canvas, with its cheerful, predominantly yellow colors, I think back to that period of my life. I call this painting Life. At that time, I was in a catastrophic financial situation, and I was saving up for everything. So I needed to express the joy of life through painting, so I painted in bright colors.


When I first painted Shadows and Lights, it was in memory of the bamboo trees

growing behind my childhood house.

Finally, I started the Le Temps retrouvé series just before the Covid-19 epidemic, thinking of old black and white photos.


Le Temps retrouvé (série)

What's your favourite work?

I don't have a favourite, and even if I did, it's not for me to decide which one it is. What is certain is that my pictorial character was established around 2010. People can recognize my work and say: "This is Ye Xingqian".

The Guimet National Museum of Asian Arts has included paintings in its collection from 2011, and the Musée Cernuschi a work from 2015.

What's your latest artistic favorite?

I loved Gerhard Richter's paintings, and I think his means of expression really resonate with me. When I was a young artist, my first love was the dynamic work of Jackson Pollock; this great painter had a huge influence on me.

What's your favorite museum ?

I don't have a favourite museum. I love Paris and this city is a living museum for me.

When I paint, I often listen to Beethoven's symphonies. These sublime accents followed by intimate moments correspond to the dynamics of my gestures on canvas.

What inspires you?

Everything inspires me. I love looking at the shadows of foliage on the ground as the wind makes it dance. I like to look at the strata on the rocks that guide me and turn into ink lines that I trace on the paper. Everything I look at can become a source of inspiration.

Could you tell us more about your projects?

I'd love to exhibit all over the world!

The history of Chinese porcelain goes back more than 3,000 years and I'd like to use this material to create contemporary works.

More modestly, I'd like to make a large porcelain boat filled with water. This boat would be placed on completely parched land: a striking image of climate catastrophe. I'd also like to make large porcelain screens and shell-shaped baths.

Ye Xingqian Gallery

4 rue Diderot 93100 Montreuil
More information :

The Boat

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