Following the end of the Cultural Revolution, the introduction of capitalism, consumerism, and the ever-expanding plan of renovation of the cities erased the past and changed the world into one that is uncertain, ambiguous and alienating to those who witnessed its mutation¡Xfrom rural suburbs to city of concrete; from communism to consumerism; from propaganda posters and slogans to Hollywood films and billboards of brand names. Exerting their comments about the psychological, physiological, social and political changes on canvas and other art forms, Lu Peng, Wang Qing and Zhang Hongtu are three front-runners on the frontline of the contemporary Chinese art world. The show exemplifies their unique views, both sociological and biographical, on the post-cultural-revolution changes.

 

 

Zhang Hongtu¡¦s humorous sculptural representations of the hybridisation of East and West play with the two extreme ends of the alienated cultures. With Zhang¡¦s unbounded creativity, the Chinese qing hua (blue and white patterned) porcelain and Shang-zhou bronzes bizarrely and spookily mated with the pop icons of Coca Cola and McDonalds.

Zhang has created an open-ended dialogue between the delicacy and seriousness of Chinese cultural legitimacy and American pop cultures and valueless modern junkies. Yet Zhang doesn¡¦t allow the otherwise overwhelming Americanization to dominate his artistic ideology¡Xthe qing hua Coca Cola and the bronze McDonalds combo meal are named in their Mandarin pronunciation, pin yin.

 

Wang Qing successfully creates a vortex drowning every viewer into his world of solitude, obscurity and deep introspective sadness. Wang Qing implicitly displays his fond of the old world in his landscape, where, on the pictorial plane, there are images from Wang¡¦s childhood, places he has been, depiction of his homeland ¡V this is a world without the doubts and uncertainties of modernity.

 
The loose strokes of Wang Qing exert the fluidness of memory and the dull grey washes overlay layers of pearly silver or gold. Wang Qing¡¦s landscapes, with or without human figures, sometimes recall the German Romantic painter Casper D Fredrich¡¦s spiritual emphasis. Both evoke contemplation and a subjective discourse of melancholy while Wang Qing has added a swipe of nostalgia for the forgone past.
 

 

Lu Peng shocks viewers with his comical yet satirical imageries of human figures with stupendous facial expressions in a screwball-comedy-like setting. These distorted and exaggerated protagonists dominate the composition performing their individuality at the artist¡¦s will to convey his concern about the surrounding political changes, the blockage of communication between the government and the lower social stratus, and his sense of lost in the world full of unknown.

Strongly contrasting to Wang Qing¡¦s sombre landscape in the neighbourhood, Lu Peng¡¦s works are full of exaggerated theatrical expressions, actions and strong saturated colours of red, blue and yellow. The festive scenes enlarge the bizarreness and the irony of these social-political changes while at the same time they question the reality and modernity.