Born in 1977 - China


Yelan was born on August 2 1977 in Shanxi, China. Yelan is her penname, her real name being Li Jianhua. Yelan began studying wash painting in 1987, proceeding to study oil painting, woodcutting and sculpture. Yelan graduated from the People's University of China in 2004.

From 1995 to 1999, Yelan created a large-scale series of Buddhism paintings consisting of 40 pieces. Each piece was purchased by a Taiwanese Private Museum, marking the beginning of Yelan’s professional career.

"I express all of my emotions through my paintings. My feelings are inspired by my thoughts, mood, and enthusiasm, each of which I am unable to express through words. In the beginning, I regarded my paintings as creations which should reflect my passions.

As time went on, my paintings started to have their own thoughts and mood and increasingly influenced and controlled my own feeling, guiding me as they neared perfection. Upon the completion of a painting I would be filled with admiration, amazed with what my work has become. Where does this the ability to release oneself come from? It is an ability inspired by nature! We could almost say my works are created by nature. How amazing it is! This release is similar to Michelangelo’s sculptures.

Michelangelo considered the figure as being imprisoned within the block of marble. By removing the excess stone, the form was released. The inspiration which is drawn from nature is the same. The closer I am to nature, the more natural my paintings will be."

- Yelan

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2002 – ‘In the Mirror and Beyond’ show in the fifth national Chinese painting price at the Beijing Yan-Huang Art Museum.
2003 – ‘Save As-Group Exhibition’ New Millennium Art Gallery, Beijing
2004 – ‘Man’ Series & ‘Lotus’ Series Exhibition Tour, Paris, Nantes, and Laval, France
2005 – ‘Shanghai Artists Works,’ New Creative Gallery, Shanghai
2006 – ‘Solo Yelan in Shanghai,’ Shun Art Gallery, Shanghai
2006 – ‘Lotus Rain,’ Shun Art Gallery, Shanghai
2006-2009 – ‘Shanghai Art Fair,’ Shanghai
2006-2008 – ‘Shanghai Youth And Midlife Artist Commending,’ Shanghai Mingyuan Art Center
2007 – ‘Feeling Exhibition from Yelan and Louis,’ IFA Village Gallery, Shanghai
2007 – ‘Art Shanghai 2007,’ Shanghai
2007 – ‘Art Beijing 2007,’ Beijing
2007 – ‘Day Dreaming—Shun Art Gallery 2007 Retrospective Exhibition,’ SHUN Art Gallery, Shanghai
2008 – ‘Bright spring day—Striking Body & Lotus Dancing of Yelan,’ SHUN Art Gallery, Shanghai
2008 – ‘Goodbye! My love--Teresa Teng 13th Anniversary Memorial Exhibition,’ SHUN Art Gallery, Shanghai
2008 – ‘359°Three in One—China-Japan Art Exchange in Two Cities,’ Shanghai SHUN Art Gallery and Shenyang LUXUN Art Academy Museum
2008 – ‘Time Out Shanghai—Affordable Art Fair,’ Shanghai
2009 – ‘Floating in Intimacy—Solo Exhibition of Yelan 2009,’ Shun Art Gallery, Shanghai
2009 – ‘Young Artist Japan,’ Tokyo, Japan
2010 – ‘100%Design Shanghai,’ Shanghai Exhibition Center
2011 – ‘Solo Yelan of Man, Lotus, Dance, and Dream,’ ARTISHOP Gallery, Hong Kong
2012 – ‘Inverse Conversations,’ Phoenix ASU’s STEP Gallery, USA
2013 – ‘Ink painting,’ Chicago BRAUER Museum, USA

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