During our recent buying trip to China, we had the pleasure of meeting a talented Chinese Avant-garde artist well known in the underground
Chinese modern art world. He likes to be remain anonymous, while prefers to signs his art work with the name of "Yian Bin". Unwilling to admit his in depth knowledge in the infamous Cultural Revolution for fear of his personal safety, he demonstrates his vast knowledge and understanding of what is now known as the 10 years of chaos by specializing in Cultural Revolution paintings using abstract form while displaying clear messages. His work has been selected to be displayed in variety of different art shows and had been a long favorite among European and American collectors. We ran into him by chance and formed a bond as he too grew up in Hunan, like one of our art buyers in China, and shared the same art teacher in the art school where he trained as our Chinese art buyer.
His unwillingness to admit his knowledge of the subject matter of his paintings is well understood by us, as the government, although it has officially denounced the Cultural Revolution and admitted that it has caused irrevocable damage to society, has also discouraged people from remembering the years of chaos. As young generations seek answers from the past, they are often faced with government censorship, and have found it difficult to locate honest and vivid material about the period.
Yian Bin, not willing to disclose where his inspiration resides, paints his art work with uncanny precision and comprehension of the era. Each of his paintings we collected referred to a different scene that took place during Cultural Revolution, many revolving around the daily lives of the Red Guards and those who aspired to be Red Guards. His work, admired by many older Chinese who went through and participated in the Cultural Revolution under the guidance of Mao Ze Dong, often strikes a chord that may have an effect much deeper than the Chinese government may want to acknowledge or realize.
We like to refer this painting as the "the Disco Dancing Red Guards". A surreal scene that would never occured during the Cultural Revolution era, as Disco dancing had not been born nor introduced into China during the 60's.