Wang Qingsong: When Worlds Collide
Wang Qingsong: When Worlds Collide, On view from January 21 through May 8, 2011
Wang Qingsong: When Worlds Collide, a solo exhibition by one of China’s most innovative contemporary artists, is on view at the International Center of Photography (1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street) from January 21 through May 8, 2011. Featuring a dozen large-scale photographs and three video works, it is the most extensive U.S. showing to date of the work of this leading Chinese artist.
Since turning from painting to photography in the late 1990s, Beijing-based artist Wang Qingsong (pronounced “wahng ching sahng”) has created compelling works that convey an ironic vision of 21st-century China’s encounter with global consumer culture. Working in the manner of a motion-picture director, he conceives elaborate scenarios involving dozens of models that are staged on film studio sets.
The resulting color photographs employ knowing references to classic Chinese artworks to throw an unexpected light on today’s China, emphasizing its new material wealth, its uninhibited embrace of commercial values, and the social tensions arising from the massive influx of migrant workers to its cities.
Because he uses elaborate studio settings and stylized arrangements of models to make his enormous color photographs, Wang Qingsong is sometimes likened to such contemporary artists as Gregory Crewdson. A more telling comparison, however, might be to an earlier figure like George Grosz, whose paintings from Weimar-era Berlin are similarly filled with needling social observation, sardonic humor, calculated awkwardness, and sometimes grotesque exaggeration. In Wang Qingsong’s works, the artist’s deep-seated attachment to his country mixes with frequent dismay at its boom-era excesses. China.
He recoils from what he calls the “superficial splendor” of today’s Chinese nouveau-riche taste, yet he also insists, “I like Chinese civilization. It offers an enormous space for imagination. Things take one form today, and then change to another form tomorrow.”
Wang Qingsong: When Worlds Collide includes twelve of the artist’s oversized photo works—some measuring up to 21 feet in length—and three of his recent videos. In addition, a series of documentary videos on view adjacent to the exhibition galleries takes viewers inside the artist’s studio, allowing them to follow step-by-step the creation of several of the major works appearing in the show.
The International Center of Photography | 1114 Avenue of the Americas | New York | NY | 10036
Back to Categories
- Average Article Rating 0 Stars
- You must be a registered user & logged in to rate this.
Login | Register