ART SALON The Culture of Contemporary Chinese Art

When 21 Jan 2011
6:00PM - 8:00PM
Where China Institute
125 East 65th Street
New York, NY 10065
United States
Enquiry 212.744.8181

Wang Qingsong, Archaeologist, 2004. © Wang Qingsong. Courtesy of International Center of Photography and the artist.


Friday, January 21 ~ 6 – 8 PM
$10 member / $15 non-member

In collaboration with the International Center of Photography (ICP) for its highly anticipated solo exhibition, “Wang Qingsong: When Worlds Collide,” China Institute is hosting a discussion with the artist, who will be interviewed by curator of the exhibition and renowned critic, Christopher Phillips.

Since turning from painting to photography in the late 1990s, Beijing-based artist Wang Qingsong 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. In Wang Qingsong’s works, the artist’s deep-seated attachment to his country mixes with frequent dismay at its boom-era excesses. 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” will be on view from January 21 to May 8, and will feature 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.

Christopher Phillips
has been a curator at the International Center of Photography since 2000, after serving for ten years as senior editor at Art in America magazine. In 2004, he and Wu Hung of the University of Chicago organized the first major U.S. exhibition of Chinese contemporary photography, “Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China.” Since that time he has curated the ICP exhibitions “Atta Kim: On-Air” (2006) and “Heavy Light: Recent Photography and Video from Japan” (2008). He has also served as a member of the curatorial team that organized the 2003, 2006, and 2009 installments of the ICP Triennial of Contemporary Photography and Video.

To register online, go to www.chinainstitute.org/art-culture/programs-events/contemporary-artor call 212-744-8181.