Wang Qingsong (*1966), the enfant terrible of contemporary Chinese photography, combines traditional techniques of Chinese paintings with a deep-seated iconoclasm toward all things official. Qingsongs artistic vernacular is not unlike that of the Chinese Pop movement of the mid-1980s: incorporating brand names with Pop Art characteristics, he creates colorful and amusing comments on his changing environment. These pieces may be on par with Kitsch art from anywhere in the world, but the act of producing them in China has an even deeper significance. Aware of the onslaught of consumer culture, materialism, and commercialism, Quingsong stages scenes which mock these growingly important attitudes to life by blending symbols of the East with those of the West. A powerful aspect of his work is his questioning, through the use of self-portraits as icons, the direction in which culture is turning.
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