He Yunchang, Nirvana Flesh No. 6, 2013, performance at BOZAR, Brussels (BE)

HE YUNCHANG

Born in 1967 in Lianghe, Yunnan (CN)
Lives and works in Beijing (CN)

 

He Yunchang is a performance artist who specializes in undergoing extreme physical duress or injury; he later offers photographs, videos and paintings of the event for sale.

Several of his works have been bloody processes in which incisions of specific lengths were made in various parts of his body. Perhaps the most sensational of these mini-dramas, One Rib, involved the surgical excision of most of He Yunchang’s lowest left rib; unusually, he was anaesthetized for the procedure. The arc of bone was cleaned and integrated into a circular gold necklace.

For One Meter of Democracy (2010), 25 people were asked to decide in a secret ballot whether the artist should have a meter-long cut made down his left side, from just below his clavicle to his knee. By a margin of 12 to 10 (with three abstentions), they approved the proposal. With voters and cameramen looking on, a surgeon duly made the incision while the operation—minus the groans of the fully conscious artist—was recorded in a series of photographs.

The artist has said he conceived the performance as a physical demonstration of “the tension between the individual and the state”, represented by the scalpel as well as the ballot box.

 

Education of He Yunchang

 

Oil painting, Central Yunnan Art Institute (CN)

SOLO SHOW

2016

A Healthy protest, He Yunchang long-life fruits performance, Today Art Museum, Beijing (CN)

2015

Water forming stone, Ink Studio, Beijing (CN)

2014

Worldly Fate, White Box Museum, Beijing (CN)

2013

Nirvana·Flesh – He Yunchang Live Performance, Irène Laub Gallery (FEIZI), BOZAR Museum, Brussels (BE)

2010

The Wings of Live Art – He Yunchang, Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne, Lucerne (CH)

2009

The Wings of Live Art – He Yunchang, Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne, Beijing (CN)

2008

The Ability to Exist, Galerie Nasional Indonesia, Jakarta (ID)

2007

Rock Touring Around Great Britain, Chambers Fine Art, New York (USA)

GROUP SHOW

2015

Beyond Stuff, Mizuma and One Gallery, Tokyo (JP)

2013

Heiqiao Night Away, cur. by Cui Cancan, Beijing (CN)

 

2012

Bodies – Performance Art in China 2, Irène Laub Gallery (FEIZI), Brussels (BE)
Bodies – Performance Art in China, Irène Laub Gallery (FEIZI), Brussels (BE)

2009

Attitude, Shit-Art Center, Zhengzhou, China (CN)
The State of Things. Brussels/Beijing, BOZAR, Brussels (BE)
Art in Busan 2009: Inter-City, Busan Museum of Art, Busan (KR)
City-net Asia 2009, Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA), Seoul (KR)
The 4th Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale 2009, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuok (JP)
Yi Pai – Century Thinking, Today Art Museum, Beijing (CN)
13 NO KAOS, Duffy Gallery, Kunming, China; Jie Fu Gallery, Beijing (CN)

2008

Our Future, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Ullens Center, Beijing (CN)
China: Construction and Deconstruction, Museum of Contemporary Art of Sao Paulo (BR)
China’s 30 years of abstraction, Beijing Wall Art Gallery (CN)
Beijing 08 ‘Contemporary Art Exhibition, Beijing, Black Bridge Gallery, Beijing (CN)
Free Fall, Beijing, Chen Ling Loh Contemporary Space, Beijing (CN)

2007

Out of control, KU Art Center, Beijing (CN)
Performa 07, Washington Square Park, New York (USA)
Net, Chambers Fine Art, Beijing (CN)
Starting from the Southwest – Exhibition of Contemporary Art in Southwest China, Guangdong
Museum of Art, Guangzhou (CN)
Foreign Objects, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (AT)

2006

He Yunchang: Works, Spacex, Exeter, UK, Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool (UK)
Cold Energy: Sensibility and Power, Pyo Gallery, Beijing (CN)

2005

The Wall – Reshaping Contemporary Chinese Art, The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, New York (USA)
Millennium Art Museum, Beijing (CN)
Sky of Destiny – 2005 Invitation Exhibition of Chinese Contemporary Oil Paintings, Shenzhen Art Museum, Shenzhen (CN)
Inward Gazes – Documentary of Chinese Performance Art, Macao Museum of Art, Macao (CN)
Ten times ten – The Second Exhibition of Contemporary Art, Songzhuang Artists Village, Beijing (CN)
Mahjong – Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection, Kunstmuseum Bern, Berne (CH)

2004

Officina Asia, Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Bologna (IT)
Chine, le corps partout (China, the body everywhere?), Museum of Contemporary Art, Marseille (FR)
Matchmaking at Suzhou Creek, Eastlink Gallery, Shanghai (CN)
Is it Art?, Shanxi Provincial Art Museum, Xi’an, (CN)
A Chang’s Persistence, Beijing Tokyo Art Project, Beijing (CN)
Degenerated, Modern Chinese Art Foundation (MCAF), Gent (BE)

2003

Sharjah International Art Biennial, Sharjah (UAE)
Artificial Aspiration, Sanhe Art Center, Beijing (CN)
Together with Migrants, Beijing Today Art Museum, Beijing (CN)
Lijiang International Art Festival, Lijiang (CN)

2002

Busan Biennale, Busan (KR)
Chinese Modernity, Armando Alvares Penteado Foundation (FAAP), Sao Paulo (BR)
Cut In, China Art Archives & Warehouse (CAAW), Beijing (CN)
New Spirit of Asian Art, Seoul (KR)
Highlights of the Chengdu Biennale, Courtyard Gallery, Beijing (CN)
Run, Jump, Climb, Walk, Yuanyang Art Center, Beijing (CN)

2001

Visibility, China Art Archives & Warehouse (CAAW), Beijing (CN)
Dislocation, Chambers Fine Art, New York (USA)

2000

Fuck Off, Eastlink Gallery, Shanghai (CN)
Chinese Oil Paintings of the 20th Century show, National Art Museum of China, Beijing (CN)

FAIR-EVENT

2016
Metamorphosis – 2016 Fourth Biennale China-Italia of Contemporary Art, Beijing (CN)
2015

ART021, Shanghai (CN)

2013

Art Brussels, Brussels (BE)
ART021, Shanghai (CN)
55th Venice Biennale (IT)
FUCK OFF II, cur. by Ai Wei Wei, Feng Boyi, Cui Cancan, Mark Wilson, Groninger Museum (NL)

2010

Hong-Kong International Art Fair (CN)

2001

The 1st Chengdu Biennale, Chengdu Museum of Modern Art, Chengdu (CN)

2000

FUCK OFF, cur. by Ai Wei Wei, Feng Boyi, Shanghai (CN)

COLLECTION

National Art Museum of China, (CN)
Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, (JP)
Queensland Art Gallery, (AU)
Centre Georges Pompidou, (FR)
White Rabbit Gallery, (AU)
Macao Museum of Art, (CN)
Private collections of Uli Sigg and Jin Hongwei