21.8 – 23.10 2015
3–5 Swallow St
21.08 – 23.10.2015
Monday to Friday
10:00 am – 5:30 pm
3–5 Swallow St
Wang Qingsong (born 1966) is one of China’s most acclaimed contemporary artists. Born at the start of the Cultural Revolution, Qingsong’s works comment on the overwhelming social and visual changes that have taken place in his native country over the last four and a half decades. He is represented in the United Kingdom by Huxley-Parlour gallery.
Despite the thorough staging of his photographs, which sometimes take place in cinema studios and require weeks of preparation and hundreds of extras, he considers his work to be a photojournalistic endeavour. Perhaps the social commentaries that these images carry are only possible through the illusion of the stage, and the best way to understand and comment on the spectacle is through emphasising it. The globalisation of China and the explosion of consumerism are key topics in Wang’s oeuvre. His interest in Western art history is also a recurrent theme, which blends into Chinese aesthetic motives and literary traditions contributing to this feel of staged documentary.
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Wang Qingsong is a leading figure in the revolution in Chinese photography. He constructs highly staged photographs that explore the influence of Western consumer culture in China. In more recent works he has explored political and social themes including the struggles of the country’s migrant population and Chinese diplomacy. Qingsong’s photographs are known for their epic scale, deep symbolism and careful staging, which can sometimes take several weeks and involve up to 300 extras. Although photography is his main medium, he has explored performance and video art in more recent years.
Qingsong’s photography is influenced by the visual vocabulary of western advertising, as well as propaganda imagery of the Chinese Communist regime’s Cultural Revolution. The artist harks back to scroll painting, an ancient Chinese artform, as well as European old master paintings.
Wang Qingsong was born in north-eastern China in 1966. Qingsong studied in the Oil Painting Department of the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts. His work has been presented at prestigious galleries, museums and art fairs across the globe including the 55th Venice Biennale China Pavilion, Italy, the International Centre of Photography, New York, the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the 42nd Rencontres de la Photographie, Arles, the Daegu Art Museum, Seoul, MOCA, Taipei, the Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, and the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo.