Yang Mian 

Identification with the smiling and laughing models that can be seen everyday in newspapers and on television, has long since become a part of the mainly female youth culture, and in this way a social problem. To the painter who devotes himself to this cliché it offers a wide range of different postures and of blissful and unique background coiors of pink, pale yellow and mauve. His starting point is the frontal protraits of girls, sometimes romantic with their head resting on their hands, sometimes proudly displaying their stylish hair, sometimes pushing pert their bust line, sometimes jaunty with a little hat and tight plaits, sometimes embarrassed with folded arms, yet always facing the vicwer in the same direction, the focus on the crowns of their head, then a group portrayed face on to those in profile, a one-child family, in a tondo composition, with father filming and mother and child grouped in harmony, or a swanky duo dressed up to party. The slightly unreal appearance of these standardized groups is intensified by thinly applied colors, where the plastic effect results more form a masterful application of color rather than from a concern with the forms of the body.

The titles of the painting underline this search for typical behavioral gestures: youth standard, flesh tone standard, changing standard, changing standard, standard of Familial Bliss, extending to the questioning and confusion of different generations in Mother/Daughter standard. Once familiar with these manifold charming appearances one discovers a carmine blue or yellow brushstroke like a slight wound crosses the painting at various levels to the figures, Yang Mian's devotion and skill uses this mark to provoke questions and through this expressive gesture, the standardizing of beauty becomes relative, the intensity of the seduction heightened.

Harald Szeemann