Hai Shuet Yeung: Innovation in Abstraction

Hai Shuet Yeung: Innovation in Abstraction, by Sajid Rizvi, with contributions by Anne Farrer and Li Gongming (hard cover 9781872843179 and soft cover 9781872843117), is focused on the career of the self-made artist, Hai Shuet Yeung, MBE.

Hai Shuet Yeung, born in 1936 in China’s Guangdong (Canton) province, is credited with introducing radical ideas and practices into painting at a time when artistic communities in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan agonise over the future of the genre into the 21st century. His “crumpled paper” technique makes brushwork almost redundant.

His images challenge widely accepted notions of perspective, composition and scale. Yeung’s abstractions are accessible as ‘landscapes,’ ‘moonscapes’ or fantastic magnifications of minute parts which can be viewed from unexpected angles—sideways or even upside down—or reduced into multiple independent images.

A British resident since 1969, Hai Shuet Yeung is a prolific painter. Hundreds of paintings created by this Grimsby-based artist have ranged in style from classical and scholarly to abstract expressionist. His most recent work has evolved into innovative and complex abstracts produced with an individual technique.

Yeung’s paintings represent a significant point of departure for modern painting—and not only in a Chinese context.

The images that he seems to create with wonderful ease have an astonishingly varied vocabulary, layers of meaning and significance, and command a universal appeal. The fact that he has endeavoured to refresh and renew media, technique as well as the subject matter of his painting sets Yeung apart from contemporaries known for variations on guohua, the traditional Chinese painting, or western-inspired abstractions.