Currently on view at Opera Gallery in DIFC is an exhibition of Chinese lithographs featuring the work of Yue Minjun, Wang Guangyi, Zhang Xiaogang, Wang Qingsong and Yang Shaobin. These pivotal Chinese contemporary artists depict social realist portrayals of the current cultural and societal change in China.
Zhang Xiaogang’s work evokes a sense of nostalgia. He incorporates the conventions of a traditional Chinese photographer to create realist depictions of a society struggling to survive amidst an increasingly commodified world. Since 1993, he has been working on the Big Family or Bloodline series, works which are inspired by old family photos. They emphasize how the concept of family in China goes far beyond one’s immediate family.
Wang Guangyi belongs to the category of Chinese art called “Political Pop.” One of the inventors of Chinese Political Pop Art, an assortment of his characters are taken from Mao propaganda billboards and are used alongside their publicity slogans. He focused on painting “Great Criticism”, a series of paintings which are influenced by his understanding of commercial society.
Known for his large-scale photographs which are representative of the Chinese kitsch movement “Gaudy Art”, Wang Qingsong discusses cultural, political and historic subjects through his pop and humorous imagery.
One of the most important artists of the Chinese avant-garde, Yang Shaobin is known for making the viewer feel pain through his work and is often referred to as the Francis Bacon of contemporary Chinese art.
Yue Minjun’s work is often termed “Cynical Realist” referring to the post-1989 movement. His characters engage the viewer with a sarcastic and often dark humor and depict themes of war, private conflict and social ambiguities pertaining to recent Chinese history.
An exceptional collection of Chinese contemporary lithographs, these works profess a determined and moving portrayal of recent Chinese history.
Chinese Contemporary Artists through May 24th 2011 at Opera Gallery, DIFC
04 323 0909