Since his early training as a representational artist, Wang Yan Cheng has developed a deep understanding of painting in terms of structure, color and technique. In recent years he has frequently gone beyond the “abstract.” He hopes to merge Eastern and Western aesthetic development, to guide people away from traditional concepts, and to feel the artist’s love for creation. Wang Yan Cheng’s foundation is never a pure canvas in the metaphoric sense. He has reached beyond the canvas with various methods to make the works “immersed and cultivated.” Using his ideas, he is able to exercise artistic control over his medium; his paintings thus inhabit a wonderful place between inevitability and chance and achieve “imperfect perfection.”
Born in 1960, after graduating from Shandong University of Arts, Wang Yan Cheng went to Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing to complete his academic art education in China. Later in 1989 he traveled to France and studied at Jean Monnet University (Saint-Étienne), where he was able to broaden and expand his creative vision of art. In the past 30 years, Wang Yan Cheng has traveled from the East to the West and has returned from the West to the East. Over time, he has found a profound affinity between Oriental philosophy and Western science and pushed his paintings to engage micro and macro themes.
In the 20th century, Chu Teh-Chun and Zao Wou-Ki introduced Eastern aesthetic concepts into Western abstract painting working in the form of lyrical abstraction. Following in the tradition of established lyrical abstractionists Zao Wou-Ki and Chu Teh-Chun, both of whom are recognized internationally, Wang Yan Cheng approaches painting with a different texture, language and visual energy than his two predecessors. In his paintings, Wang Yan Cheng elevates the image to the level of microcosmic vision, using energy, detailed texture and traditional culture to create his unique artistic language. Continuing in the tradition of lyrical abstraction, Wang Yan Cheng builds a majestic momentum from the shapes and colors, drawing on an atmospheric flow that comes from his soul. Each composition follows traditional Chinese cosmology to explore the mysterious driving force of the origin of the universe. The artist departs from the restraints of techniques and concepts, embracing instead the power of spirit and the experience of love. Thus, Wang Yan Cheng’s paintings form "a cosmic rhythm that embodies the spirit of the Oriental and Taoist philosophy, that open a universe, in bigger and bigger collisions." (quote by art critic Jia Fangzhou).
Today, Wang Yan Cheng maintains studios in Paris and Beijing. Major solo museum exhibitions have been held at the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna (2021), Guangdong Museum of Art (2000), and Musée de Montparnasse, Paris (2010). In 2014, the National Museum of History in Taipei mounted an extensive retrospective of the artist. Wang Yan Cheng was also selected to participate in the Shanghai Museum of Art Biennial (2002), the French Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo (2010), and the Chinese Pavilion at the Milan International Expo (2015). Over the past 20 years, he has won the honor of Chevalier des Arts et Lettres, the Legion of Honour and the Commander Medal of French Arts and Literature. He is the first Chinese artist to have won three medals of honor from the French government. In the fall of 2019, Acquavella presented an exhibition of the artist’s paintings: his first solo show in the United States.