New Century artworks
Since 2000, against the backdrop of globalisation, Chinese art has embraced international trends. Chinese artists' knowledge of world culture has rapidly increased. They have used this new global outlook to combine traditional Chinese artistic practices with Western art styles to create new, energetic and experimental forms of art that reveal the vitality, colour and multiculturalism of China today.
All works are from the National Art Museum of China.
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Great Sound, 2008
Mixed Media, 210cm x 600cm.
Wang Huaiqing was born in Beijing in 1944. He received his bachelor's degree from the Central Academy of Arts, and in 1981 received his master's degree. From 1987 to 1988 he was a visiting fellow at Oklahoma City University in the United States. Now he is a 'national first-grade painter' working at the Beijing Fine Arts Academy. He is a member of the board of directors of the Chinese Oil Painting Society.
Wang combines traditional Chinese art with abstract composition. His early work takes the viewer inside the white-walled and grey-tiled houses of the Jiangnan region. In the 1990s he created a superb series of paintings of interiors, that combined a purely Chinese visual world with a feeling for abstract design that makes them particularly accessible to Western viewers.
This painting shows how his thoughts about construction turned to 'deconstruction', literally breaking up the wooden pieces and scattering and suspending them like exploded fragments. The scattered wood on the right is so artfully arranged that it seems to have been painted by brush. It is the combination in Wang's work of his sense of Ren (the Confucian 'human-heartedness'), which involves his own nature and his sense of Chinese identity, with his power to create poetic order out of apparent chaos, that makes his painting so deeply satisfying.
A Limited World, 2008 (detail)
3D computer animation
Miao Xiaochun, born in 1964 in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts and the Kunsthochschule in Kassel, Germany. He now teaches in the Central Academy of Fine Arts.
Miao is a practitioner of Chinese conceptual photography and new media art. His works are full of art historical references, appropriating and transforming resources from famous Western artists and artworks, particularly those of the Renaissance period. This piece is based on The Garden of Earthly Delights, a painting by Hieronymus Bosch (about 1450–1516).
Miao's title for the artwork is an antonym of the Chinese proverb, 'Sit well look sky', which literally means to look up at the sky from a well, implying that humans are too narrow in their views to understand the essence of the macro world. Here, Miao is implying that even if we look down on the world from space, we are unable to apprehend the essence of the micro world. In the dynamic images that he creates, Miao is seeking to discover the significance of the differences between contemporary and historical art, how traditional art has been transformed into today's art, and the relationship between the two.
Marching on the Road, 2008
Sculpture, 110cm x 55cm x 55cm.
Li Xiangqun was born in Harbin in 1961. In 1990 he graduated from the Sculpture Department of Luxun Academy of Fine Arts with a master's degree and started teaching there. He is now a professor in the Fine Arts College of Tsinghua University.
Li's sculptures are of dynamic figures and communicate the spirit of representational art and realism. This sculpture of Chairman Mao is vivid and expressive. By sculpting Mao lifting his right foot and stretching out his left arm in a marching pose, Li glorifies the great man who led China to victory. This work is named after a song of the same name, which was written in the early days of New China, and deeply touched a generation.
Teenage Girl, 2008
Sculpture, 80cm x 74cm x 187cm.
Jiang Yu was born in Dashiqiao, Liaoning province, in 1976. In 2003 she graduated from the Sculpture Department of the Luxun Academy of Fine Arts. She became the vice-president of the Shenzhen Nanshan Sculpture Institute in 2006.
Old Tea House in Sichuan, 2008
Sculpture, 110cm x 30cm x 5
Li Xianhai, of the Han ethnic group, was born in 1954 in Chongqing. He previously worked as a factory-hand. He is a member of the Chengdu Sculpture Art Association and the Sichuan Sculpture Association.
Sheng, Dan, Jing and Mo, 2008
Sculpture (characters from the Peking Opera). 53cm x 44cm x 110cm, 78cm x 46cm x 112cm, 44cm x 37cm x 102cm, 52cm x 41cm x 110cm.
Wu Tong, was born in 1973, in Shenyang, Liaoning Province. He graduated from the Sculpture Department of Luxun Academy of Fine Arts in 2001. He commenced working towards his master's degree at the academy in 2006, and he now teaches there.