Monday, November 26, 2007

Wang Qingsong

When East meets West they switch places.

Like Pierre et Giles or David LaChapelle, Wang Qingsong creates photographs that are extravagantly staged and artificial, challenging the idea that photography is somehow truer to life than other sorts of art, while paradoxically showing the effects of Westernization on Chinese culture in the most appropriate manner. Wang intends his vivid colors to evoke rapid modernization, while their painterly composition recalls his formal training as a painter. Witty references to Western painters like Ingres or Corbet call into question how well cultures blend into new environments.

To give some sense of how haphazard the changes in official response to art have been, Wang was questioned for two days earlier this year after a model complained about the use of nudity in his work. Meanwhile, he is currently shooting a series for the 2008 Olympics.

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