Yan Pei-Ming’s epic size monochromatic paintings have redefined the traditional parameter of portraiture. Often depicting Mao Zedong, Bruce Lee, his father, and other cultural icons, these portraits are, in reality, brilliant encapsulations of historical traces and personal sentiments endeared to the artist The monumental scale of the portraits has reinvented the mode of painting, and questioned the viewing relationship between audience and artwork, making the artist a concrete anti-thesis to the prevalent trend of conceptual works at the time. At the same time, the monochromatic color palette also proved to be a successful strategy for the artist to break free from the baggage of the Western art history. The artist believes that portraits have the power to capture and transcend experience and thoughts. It is through his paintings where personal and collective histories resurfaced.
“ I am interested in humanity rather than individuality. „