Yang Yanping, Autumn Lotus Pond, a horizontal scroll painting

China, dated AD 1985

Yang Yanping (born 1934) is one of the most exciting Chinese artists of her generation. Trained as an architect, she initially painted professionally, creating theatrical sets and historical paintings for the Museum of Chinese History and the Revolution. In 1980 she was appointed as an artist of the prestigious Beijing Academy. This marked a turning point in her career. She was able to turn her interest to Chinese painting and produce her own compositions. She currently lives in New York and continues to exhibit widely.

Lotuses are a favourite subject matter. She learnt to paint them by observing a lotus pond near her home in Beijing in all seasons and weather. Lotuses are a very old subject in Chinese painting, traditionally rendered in outline and colour or in wet ink monochrome. By contrast, Yang's works are distinctive in their innovative use of 'brushless' techniques to create the mottling of natural surfaces and the rich layered colouring suggestive of seasonal decay. The painting is made over a background stain of colour. Ink and colour are soaked from the back or through paper overlaid on the painting surfaces. Textures are created by applying paint with crumpled paper and exploiting the fibrous character of paper.

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Yang Yanping, Autumn Lotus Pond, a horizontal scroll painting

© 2001 Yang Yanping
Autumn Lotus Pond by Yang Yanping


More information


F. Carey (ed.), Collecting the 20th century, exh. cat. (London, The British Museum Press, 1991)

Y. Yangping, Lotus landscape, exh. cat. (Hsiung-Shih Gallery, Taipei, 1990)


Height: 945.000 mm
Width: 1760.000 mm

Museum number

Asia OA 1987.5-27.01 (Chinese Painting Add. 514)



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