Yan Lei: Rêverie


Yan Lei is one of the most idiosyncratic figures in the Chinese art scene today: he is always independent. But he also holds a truly global vision and is deeply concerned with some major problems of society.


Only ‘Reverie’


The way Yan Lei’s voice echoed on the phone, one could imagine he was alone in a room, striving to explain what ‘reverie’ meant to him. Yet one could not imagine what his hand, holding a cigarette, might be pointing to…


Yan Lei, Or the Troubled Artist


In my work, every step forward is unpredictable, but the one thing that has never left my mind is the troubles and anxieties about being an artist.


Zuo Jing Text


In order to understand Yan Lei’s work, you must put his art practice in the context of the 30 years of history of Chinese contemporary art. Yan Lei constructs his world of works from a larger point of view, from beginning to end, the art has always been revolved around the system itself...


Yan Lei-deep breath

标志性的变色镜、松散的黑发和一件皮夹克,43岁的颜磊就这样出现在12月的巴塞尔迈阿密艺术博览会上,蓄势待发,准备迎接这场由耀目的灯光、各界名流和 销售额组成的盛世狂欢。

With his signature tinted aviators, floppy black hair and leather jacket, 43-year-old Yan Lei was in his element at Decembers Art Basel Miami Beach, primed for the crucible of bright lights, celebrity and sales that comprise the annual sun-splashed bacchanal.


Some Transitions Experienced by an Artist


Following the Stars Group and the Anonymous Painting Group Movements at the end of the 1970s, the early period of China’s contemporary art started to recover a spirit of individuality, after being used as a political mouthpiece...


Aspen Sparkling

“追光——阿斯蓬” 在拥有十亿多人口的中国,如何将信息、身份和意义进行分类和具体化?什么东西应该被记录下来?为了达到统一、转译与合成的目的,生活在北京的艺术家颜磊采用了绘画还原的方法。

With one billion people in China, how does one sort and contextualize information, identity, and meaning? What should be recorded? Beijing-based artist Yan Lei utilizes a reductive method of painting in an effort to unify, translate, and synthesize.


Negotiating the Non-Negotiable: On the Work of Yan Lei


As a spearhead of globalization, today’s art is intrinsically related to and even conditioned by the system of power, that is in turn defined by institutional and/or market success. Contemporary art, in the meantime...

颜磊 罗马,晚报摊空间

Yan Lei Roma, Edicola Notte


Eyes and memories deceived by the big box’s illusion you can see through the showcase. The space and the imagination are not what they seem. That’s the provocation of the Chinese artist Yan Lei.

支柱: 颜磊



SUPPORT is an installation/painting project created by Beijing based artist, Yan Lei, who questions our reliance on luxurious settings to endow values in the presentation of contemporary art. In coming to terms with the historical connotations of Three on the Bund...


Out of Focus - A Dimension for Painting


"Strictly speaking, Im not an artist as defined by any medium. Since 1996 I have done some works related to contemporary art issues. I didnt choose a fixed pattern or medium where these issues were involved...


Yan Lei: "Free Langfang"


Yan Lei was born in Langfang in 1965 to a company accountant and a school teacher. Several relatives were well-known painters. At the age of 14, when education was re-normalized, he moved to Baoding (in Hebei ) to attend the design school there.


"Taikang Project" - Public Idealism Pointing at the System


“One Work" is an exhibition series that I am curating this year. The plan is to invite two or three artists at a time to create a piece of art together. "Taikang Project", the work which inaugurated the series, was created by Hong Hao and Yan Lei. This took place successfully in April of this year.


Meeting Point, Tagged Team and Sparkle

两种思维 = 一件作品,两种张力 = 一种和谐
自上世纪五十年代后,尤其是艺术大师罗伯特•劳森伯格1953年那幅 著名的《涂抹的德•库宁的画》1之后,共同创作在观赏艺术领域一直占着十分重要的地位。

Two minds = one work, two tensions = one rapport.
Collaborations take up a vital position in visual art since the early 50s where we have the famous case of Robert Rauschenbergs 1953 Erased de Kooning Drawing.


May I See Your Exhibition?


“Painting is a way of occupying space on museum walls.” Thus responded Yan Lei to a question—“What is painting?”—posed by Guan Yi to the ten artists participating in his collection show organized in conjunction with Beijing’s newest art fair early last month.

超级轻 — 颜磊的工作

Super-light – Yan Lei’s Art Practice


Yan Lei has started on a new painting series since 2002. Judging from the very first work of this series, we could sense that this was the beginning of an inexhaustible subject in the same way as a drop of salty liquid is in relation to the sea.


Yan Lei "Climbing Space"


In all his works Yan Lei (*1965, Hebei, China, lives and works in Beijing) resorts to the support of images. In his past works (performances, installations and so forth) photographs served mostly as documents evidencing the existence...


Yan Lei – “I’ m not an artist, I’ m a man!”


Yan Lei exclusively transposes in the pictorial form -and in his art as a whole- those subjects strictly related to his own daily experience: people he meets, objects he uses, landscapes he views, situations he encounters, images he sees on newspapers and magazines.


Yan Lei


Poised between attack and defense, detachment and complicity, sarcasm and regard, Yan Lei’s is a “creativity of re-action.” Yan Lei has recently shown an inclination toward works conceived ad hoc in response to a given topic...

颜磊:空间,通道,生活 / 艺术流

Yan Lei: Space, Passages, Art / Life Stream

从北京到香港,如同进入一个巨大的蒸笼。人们憋足一口气,从一个空调房迅速潜入另一个空调房,尽量减少在湿热的空气中逗留 的时间。是的,要适应香港,首先得适应这个城市无所不在的强劲空调冷气...

Travelling from Beijing to Hong Kong is like entering a huge steamer. People hold their breath and rush from one air-conditioned room into another, trying to spend as little time as possible in the hot and humid climate. Indeed, to get used to Hong Kong, one has to get used to the ubiquitous and powerful air-conditioner first. ...


An Offending Conceptual Artist Yan Lei


In 1995, Yan Lei held his one-man installation exhibition Invasion. Among the arts exhibited was 323cm,a works composed of photo, video and material object.