Author(s): Yun Chea Gab
Born in Harbin in 1957, Wang Guangyi is at the forefront of the group of young artists that emerged in China after 1989. This volume compiles his iconic paintings from the "Great Criticism" series, which use propaganda from the Cultural Revolution and contemporary pop and corporate icons. Wang's Social Realist-style figures are over-painted with the names of famous Western artists like Beuys and Warhol, with product names like Porsche, or, simply, with loaded words like "materialist." This clash of propaganda and American Pop kitsch sets up an ironic examination of contemporary globalization. Putting Wang's works into the context of the Cultural Revolution, critic David Spalding writes, "Certainly, the vast legacy of propaganda that resulted from this period will continue to impact artists interested in critically examining China's recent visual history. After all, these images were more than simply popular; for a time, they were the only ones allowed."