Yue Minjun is best known for his signature motif of satirical, stylized self-portraits with wide smiles. His work is classified as cynical realism, where conflicts, hopelessness, and contradictions are humorously revealed: “after 1989, in the immediate aftermath of the Tian’anmen Square tragedy, to laugh seemed the only possible reaction, the only available escape from the loss and disillusionment reality, which the Chinese people were confronted with at the time.” These seemingly insane laughs are not directly related to the reality; however, through the act of smiling, Yue Minjun reveals the intricacy of his inner world and comments on China’s path to modernization.