Everything is about to change for Huang Yongping. Twenty-seven years after this avant-garde artist from Xiamen was discovered during the "Magicians of the Earth" exhibition, at the Centre Pompidou, in Paris, he will star in "Monumenta", in the French capital's most prestigious showcase: the Nave of the Grand Palais.
Since 2007, contemporary artists such as Anselm Kiefer, Richard Serra, Christian Boltanski, Anish Kapoor and Daniel Buren have risen to the challenge, creating mind-boggling pieces on a grand scale to fill the 45-metre-high, 13,500 square metre space, under one of Paris' most famous glass roofs.
Despite high-profile shows, such as the 1999 Venice Biennale, in which he represented his adoptive country with Jean-Pierre Bertrand, Huang's work is relatively unknown in France.
Nevertheless, he is no stranger to creating what the French media call "le buzz" - his taxidermy life-sized Noah's Ark, in 2009, in the Petits-Augustins chapel, at the Beaux-Arts school, and his oversized and somewhat overbearing Wu Zei octopus, at the Lille 3000 cultural triennial, in 2012, generated many column inches, as did his 36-metre-long live-reptile-filled "snake" in the Carreau du Temple installation for the Nuit Blanche event a year later.
Often credited with being the true founder of contemporary art in China, and the father of the Xiamen Dada movement, Huang's work has a dream-like quality, sometimes disturbing, exploring his view of the mutations of the world.
Theatrical and striking, the artist uses his taste for the absurd to protest with paradox. Linking art, life and politics, he draws inspiration from mythical tales from East and West, creating fascinating monumental scenes, featuring animals and spectres of doom - ecological or economical.
With carte blanche to fill Paris' most spectacular of spaces, Huang's latest offering is awaited with bated breath.
An immersive installation consisting of eight colourful islands is to be unveiled, with a play on the glass dome's skeleton drop shadow. Bound to be awe-inspiring and dramatic, "Monumenta", which runs from May 8 to June 18, will also reach the masses, introducing Huang's visions to the public at large.