Minjun Yue

b. 1962, Daqing, China


Minjun Yue
Yue Minjun, Contemporary Terra-Cotta Warrior, 2005 (detail)



Yue’s smiling self-portrait, whether realized in paint or bronze, is one of the iconic images of contemporary Chinese art. His hysterical grin could also be interpreted as an agonized grimace. Referencing both the smiling figures of Soviet Socialist Realist painting and the terracotta army of Xi`ian, buried with the First Emperor of Qin in 210 -209 BC, Yue’s warriors resemble a critical crowd observing events in contemporary China. The set of 25 figures in Pete and Repeat is part of a series of 10 different sets, each depicting a smiling Yue adopting a slightly different pose, forming an army of 250 grinning Yues dotted about across the globe.