Paris (AFP)

An artist of Chinese origin known for his monumental works, Huang Yong Ping, who had installed a 250-meter-long snake skeleton under the nave of the Grand Palais in 2016, died "brutally" on Saturday, the Kamel Mennour Gallery said. .

A major figure in avant-garde art in China, sometimes considered the godfather of this bubbling generation, the 65-year-old artist has lived in France since 1989.

He was there to set up an exhibition in Beaubourg when the events in Tiananmen Square broke out, prompting him not to leave again.

He will not set foot in China until the early 2000s for a project to replicate a full size aircraft, which will be censored.

Huang Yong Ping became known for his XXL creations: columns piercing the roof of the French pavilion at the Venice Biennale (1999), a life-size Noah's ark at the Chapel of Fine Arts in Paris (2009), a huge metal skeleton (125 meters) near the port of Saint-Nazaire (2012) and a gigantic skeleton of snake stretching on hundreds of containers at the Grand Palais (2016), as part of the exhibition "Monumenta" .

"Huang Yong Ping wants to highlight a very powerful phenomenon, in front of which the man is little things", explained the curator of the exhibition, Jean de Loisy, one of his friends, about this symbolic representation of the second industrial Revolution.

Born in 1954 in southeast China, Huang Yong Ping studied Fine Arts before founding the Xiamen Dada group in the mid-80s, inspired by the thought of Marcel Duchamp, and responding to censorship by fire of their own works, in particular.

His life changes in 1989, the year of his installation in France (he will be naturalized ten years later). His art is then more and more monumental, interweaving "the ancient myths and the most burning news", stresses the Parisian gallery Kamel Mennour in his release Sunday, the last day of the Fiac, big appointment of the contemporary art.

"The work of Huang Yong Ping, always deep and percussive, like his joyful, brilliant and wise person, focused on invigorating the role of art, not as a dead material and aesthetic objects, but as an essence of life overflowing, "concludes the gallery in his tribute.

© 2019 AFP