|Born in Beijing in 1950, Chinese artist Yu Xiaoyang lived through all the political upheavals of the Cultural Revolution which affected him deeply. From 1966-76, he was exiled to Shansi Province where he worked in a mine among other things before the authorities decided to make better use of his talents. He returned to Beijing in t976 to illustrate an astronomy magazine.
At this time. Yu once asgain besgn painting in oil, a medium little used in China. He displayed some of his works to the Beijing diplomatic community in 1983 and met with great success because his works real[y evoked China.
This success led him to study traditional Chinese painting and use Indian ink and watercolcour on sorghum paper. He depicted such things as mountains in the mist, water droppins over rocks, a bamboo grove. gnarled trees with twisted rocos, a mandarin beside his house, all characteristic of ancient Chinese art.
Despite the success of such works in 1986-87 Yu decided to devote himself to what really interested him: scenes of daily iife in Beijing which were in danger ot vanishing forever due to the incredible growth of the Chinese econcomy.
These almost mconcochrome street scenes of old men and women talhing, children playing, merchants selling produce in the snow, etc, are elegant and refined. Some of them have a strang almost fantastic aura to them like the one depicting Tien-an-Men Square full of people all with the heads of animals.
In 1992, Yu Xiaoyang left his native land for Montreal, to discover the home town of his wite Since this time, he has exhibited at the University of Montreal, the Saidye Bronfman Centre, and the Chinese Friendship Garden of the Montreai Botanical Gardens among Other places.