As of 2014, Contemporary artist and activist Ai Weiwei (previously covered here) remains under restrictions of movement- but he continues to criticize the Chinese regime through his art. Opening tomorrow, the Faurschou Foundation Copenhagen in Denmark will showcase some of his most notable pieces to date, including new sculptures, with “Ruptures.” The exhibition is named for the rupture in Weiwei’s career by the Chinese government, while showcasing the staying power of his work.
Somewhere between the state from wakefulness to sleep, called “the Hypnagogic state”, is where Hong Kong based digital artist Sonya Fu finds her inspiration. Her portraits of dreamy young girls, whose eyes almost always appear closed, are the ghosts of her visions during sleep paralysis. Although digital, they are painted with a sensitive touch to surprising details in their face and hair, and given a soft, eerie atmosphere. Check out more of her artwork after the jump.
Lin Tianmiao is considered one of today’s most notorious contemporary artists in China, especially among women who are under-represented there in her field. Her signature medium is everyday materials, particularly woven textile such as silk, which she uses to convey modern women’s frustrations and identity. This has earned her the “feminist artist” label, one that she rejects. Male or female, her cryptic and ethereal works have captured the imagination for decades. Her “Focus” portrait photo series is currently on view in the “Conceal/Reveal: Making Meaning in Chinese Art” group showing at Seattle Asian Art Museum (SAM).
Liu Guangguang was born in China’s Gansu province. He attended Lu Xun Academy of Fine Art. He lives and works in Shenyang and Beijing. He’s a member of the Beijing-based EDGE Creative Collective. His recent work is about scale. His figures (and animals) go about their normal activity. They check their phones. They play cards. They get ready for bed. The people smile without a care in the world. Despite the normalcy of each image, something’s unusual, if not wrong. Either the figures have miniature heads or else their bodies are gigantic. Their fingers and necks are elongated. A few have huge eyes. One woman has the floppy ears and trunk of an elephant.
Beijing based artist Wang Zhijie paints more than cartoonish renderings of pretty girls. They are a young generation born into the extravagant part of contemporary Chinese culture. His colorful portraits utilize ideal beauty in Chinese art; porcelain skin, shiny, dark hair, and an oval face with dramatic makeup. His background in animation shows in the way he stretches facial features to their limits. With “Big eyes” art style experiencing a boom, one can’t help but think of artists like Margaret Keane, or the application of Mark Ryden. They also enjoy material trinkets while possessing a look of fearlessness. Attractiveness cannot be fully achieved without inner beauty, and combined these create an asset that reflects certain social and financial success. In Zhijie’s view, his girls embody decades of economic prosperity in China.
The work of Taiwanese photographer Yung Cheng Lin (aka “3cm”) is a sensitive and surreal observation of the female condition. Sexuality, menstruation, maturity and birth are all running themes in his photos, an ongoing larger body of work. His critics take two sides; most praise his abstract, personal take on a woman’s experience while others rejects it as objectification. 3cm rarely, if ever, grants interviews or interpretations of his work, so we can’t defend either. He wants his audience to look at his photos without interference. Take a look at 3cm’s latest work after the jump.