Yang Jiechang (born in Guangdong, China, 1956) studied from 1974-78 at the Foshan Folk-Art Institute in Guangdong, China. In 1982 he graduated from the Chinese Painting department of the Guangzhou Fine Arts Academy, China. His formal training was primarily focused in traditional Chinese painting, and the ancient technique of collage on paper. Yang then began a rigorous study of Taoism and Zen Buddhism with the Taoist master, Huangtao. Yang combined his Taoist studies and his formal education to construct his own mental, spiritual and visual language. He chose to abandon all color, representation, allusion and symbolism. Yang is rooted in his traditional artistic background, and paints only in traditional Chinese ink, layered in some places with collaged rice paper. The results are images that both absorb and reflect light, allowing a simultaneity of darkness and luminosity within his works. Yang believes that it is important for the process of artistic creation and its results to be a kind of spiritual meditation.
Yang achieved renown after his participation in the 1989 exhibition Les Magiciens de la Terre at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Since then, he has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Asia, Europe, USA and Australia since 1988. Selected solo exhibitions include: Stranger than Paradise at the La Criée, Centre d’art Contemporain, Rennes, France (2011), Underground Flowers at the Musée d’Histoire Naturelle de Rouen, Festival Automne en Normandie, France (2010), No/Shadow Kick at the Duolum Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai, China (2008), In God We Trust at the Stanford University Medical School, Stanford, California, USA (2008), Hei Ji Sheng Xiang at the Shenzhen Painting Institute, China (2005), Lookchat at Centre A, Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Vancouver, Canada (2003) and Der längste Tag at the Kunstverein Nürtingen, Nürtingen, Germany (2002).
Yang Jiechang has also participated in numerous group exhibitions, such as: Advance through Retreat at the Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, China (2014), China's Changing Landscape at the Nordic Watercolor Museum, Sweden (2014), Zizhiqu/Autonomous Regions at the Times Museum Guangzhou, China (2013), and From Gesture to Language at the Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, China (2013). Yang's work was featured in the first group show devoted solely to the contemporary art of China, Ink Art, Past as Present in Contemporary China at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (2013).
Yang Jiechang has been shown in various international Art Fairs, including the Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai, China (2012), Lyon Biennial, Lyon, France (2009), Venice Biennale, Tibetan Pavilion, Edicola Notte, Venice, Italy (2008), 3rd Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China (2008), Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey (2007), Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool, UK (2006) and in the 5th Shenzheng International Ink Painting Biennial, Shenzheng, China (2006).
Yang lives and works in Paris and Heidelberg.