Book Summary/Introduction/Artist Page Hai Shuet Yeung: Innovation in Abstraction, by Sajid Rizvi, with contributions by Anne Farrer and Li Gongming (hard cover 9781872843179, soft cover 9781872843117), is focused on the career of the versatile and prolific, virtually self-made British Chinese artist, Hai Shuet Yeung, MBE. You may buy this book here.
Hai Shuet Yeung, also known as Yáng Xīxuě (a literal pinyin transliteration of 杨希雪, the three characters in his Chinese name, was born in 1936 in China’s Guangdong (Canton) province. Having bypassed formal art education, he made inventive use of training in practical chemistry to develop new ways of painting and exploring possibilities in abstraction and representation of ‘landscape’ in art.
Hai Shuet Yeung is credited with developing exemplary techniques, introducing radical ideas and practices into painting, notably without resort to a paintbrush for the main body of his painterly works. His innovative “crumpled-paper” technique was widely seen in the 1980s as a pioneering practice at a time when artistic communities in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan agonised over the future of the genre into the 21st century amid encroaching influences espoused by Asian artists trained abroad.
Hai Shuet Yeung’s images challenge widely accepted notions of perspective, composition and scale. His 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. 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.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.
Since 1969, Hai Shuet Yeung has lived and worked in Grimsby, northern England, and was awarded an MBE for his contribution to community and society.
Yeung’s paintings represent a significant point of departure for modern painting—and not only in a Chinese context. This book looks at his artistic development and evolution and exploration of his abstract style. ©Sajid Rizvi