Han Yajuan
Qingdao, Shandong Province, China b.1980


Han Yajuan aims to depict the lives of her generation of young Chinese women. Her Kawaii style characters are a celebration of the newfound abundance of choices and chances. By juxtaposing her signature female figures with an affinity for high fashion and opulent style, she illustrated both the desires and burgeoning opportunities, which influence the new, globally minded generation of Chinese women.


World Message (2011) Oil on Canvas | 60cm x 60cm


Han Yajuan was born in 1980 in Qingdao, Shandong Province. She studied for her Bachelor of Arts at the Chinese Academy of Art in Hangzhou before achieving a Master of Fine Art at the Oil Painting Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing in 2008. Between obtaining her bachelor of Arts and studying for her Masters, Han spent several years teaching at the College of Visual Art at the China Academy of Art.


Han is one of several Chinese artists of her generation referred to as the “Cartoon Generation”. Her works feature female subjects based on the Japanese anime style with disproportionate body parts. Influences come from the works of Japanese Manga cartoonists and the kawaii concept which emphasizes what is thought to be cute. The style was named Animamix by a professor called Victoria Lu.


Han uses her own personal experience, both culturally and visually, in her works. Whilst many artists do this it is particularly unique in Han’s works due to the rapid changes which China has undergone and how that has been experienced by the generation born in the 1980’s. From a Communist country where the military was glorified as icons for the youth, China has now developed into a capitalist country with luxury brands becoming the new icons for the youth. Han’s works show strong women benefiting from the economic boom and living guilt-free lives of consumption, with the luxury brands reflecting exuberance and fun which Han believes epitomizes the dreams and aspirations of her generation. 


Unlike many artists who focus on one theme for many years, Han swiftly changes the subjects of her works. Over the past decade she has moved through 3 complete series of works; Bling Bling (2005-2010), Transcendence (2010-2013) and Something Beginning with C (2014-2015). She has now moved on to her 4th series which is entitled Superlative.


Although only 38, Han has achieved a very successful career to date. She has been exhibited globally across Asia, Australia, the US, South America and Europe. Her solo exhibitions have been internationally acclaimed and her works are being collected by major private and public collections, such as the Ulli Sigg collection in Switzerland and the China Academy of Art.


In 2012 she was featured in a Reuter’s article entitled “The hot-young-artists league table”. This article calculated the artists auction revenue, up to and including the year they turned 30, and Han was ranked at number 7 in the table. A further article written by Bloomberg in 2013, ranked Han in the top-10 selling artists born since 1980.


Han currently works and resides in Beijing.


2007 Solo Exhibition - Travel Alone Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo, Japan


Exhibition Highlights


2018    Paris Asian Art Fair, Paris, France
             German Consulate General Shanghai, Shanghai, China, The House of Insomnia
             Art Miami, Miami, USA
             MoCA, Shanghai, China

2016    Longmen Arts Project, Shanghai, China, Superlative

2011     Klein Sun Gallery, New York, USA, Indulgence and Transcendence

2009    Chinese Contemporary, New York, USA, Bling Bling

2008    Marella Gallery, Beijing, China, Herstory

             Olyvia Oriental, London, UK, Angels from Hell

2007    Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo, Japan, Travel Alone

             Willem Kerseboom Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Selection of Dreams

             Project B Contemporary Art, Milan, Italy, Delightful Escape

             TaiKang Top Space, Beijing, China, Beautiful Plan 

2006    Art Beatus, Hong Kong, Milkshakes


Recent Auction Results


  • “Tribute to Marilyn”, 100cm x 100cm, Oil on Canvas, 2007
  • US$77,330 Sotheby’s London, New Bond Street, February 2008
  • “A Faint Fragrance”, 150cm x 150cm, Oil on Canvas, 2006
  • US$73,000 Sotheby’s New York, November 2007
  • “Mass Gymnastics No. 4”, 150cm x 150cm, Oil on Canvas, 2007
  • US$64,560, Christie’s London, King Street, February 2008