Studio visit: You Jin

An afternoon with the Chinese artist famous for his highly-saturated, mind-bending canvases such as Daydreaming about the Future, offered in Shanghai on 21 September


‘My studio is a place that makes me calm. I feel content in my studio; it allows me to be alone,’ says the painter You Jin when we visit him in Beijing. ‘The first thing I do is put on some music, something soft and gentle.’

When working, he starts with ‘pure colour’, and begins introducing other colours little by little. ‘I particularly enjoy the process of drawing lines,’ he says.

Born in 1979 in Shenyang, northeast of Beijing, You began painting at a very young age, eventually studying at the Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts in his native city. Today he is best known for his highly-saturated canvases which are a riot of near-psychedelic colour and line. 

You Jin (China, b. 1979), Daydreaming about the Future, painted in 2016. 130 x 194 cm (51⅛ x 76⅜ in). Estimate: CNY 300,000-600,000. This lot is offered in 20th Century & Contemporary Art (Evening Sale) on 21 September 2018 at Christie’s in Shanghai

He is fascinated by the ever-changing urban environment, and the seemingly endless possibilities that cities seem to suggest. Accordingly, his works often contain numerous perspectives — leaving the viewer with the impression of looking in many directions at once.

‘Our eyes have a limited visual field, so I may combine the back, front, upward or downward perspectives to form a composition,’ the artist explains. ‘I am drawn to architectural elements such as spiral or straight staircases,’ which, he has said, ‘express the heights or depths of human life.’

On 21 September, You Jin's Daydreaming about the Future  will be offered in the 20th Century and Contemporary Art Evening Sale at Christie’s in Shanghai.

‘I love all of my works, even if I am not completely happy with a particular piece,’ reveals the artist. ‘Each of them represents a moment in my life.’

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