Hong Hao


Hong Hao
b. 1965, Beijing
Printmaker, photographer
Hong Hao graduated from the Print-Making Department of Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1989. In the early 1990s he began working on Selected Scriptures, a series of silkscreen prints that resemble a large open book. Selected Scriptures is a fictional encyclopedia that reinterprets the social/ political history of the world and anticipates possible future scenarios through invented maps, diagrams and illustrated narratives. The works in the Selected Scriptures series comically question the legitimacy of historical accuracy and overtly criticize consumerism, imperialism and technology.
In 1997 Hong Hao began a series of photographs in which he himself poses as a pampered successful businessman in various luxurious settings. The photographs in this series function as mock advertisements replete with both English and Chinese captions. The works question the equation of success with material wealth and Westernization.
Hong Hao began to focus on the urban environment of Beijing as a subject matter in 1999. His photographs in the Beijing Tour Guide series show the artist posing heroically in traditional Chinese clothing and guiding Western tour groups through various historic sites around the city. In Qingming shanghe tu (Spring Festival on the River) and Qianli jiangshan tu (A Thousand Miles of Rivers and Mountains) the artist reinterprets these original Song dynasty paintings with colour photographs, showing street life in the respective capital cities of the day—Kaifeng in the twelfth century and Beijing in the twentieth century. Hong’s horizontal scrolls are at one and the same time a dialogue with the original works and an exploration of the power structure through the architecture and daily life of disparate historical periods. Among other venues, Hong Hao has exhibited his work at the Max Protech Gallery in New York (1988), at Canvas International Art in Amsterdam (1999) and at the 2000 Shanghai Biennale (Shanghai Art Museum).
Chaos, Y.Chen (2000). Scenes from the Metropolis. Beijing: Courtyard Gallery.
Kielstra, Martijn et al. (1999). The Selected Scriptures of Hong Hao (exhibition catalogue). Amsterdam: Canvas Foundation.
MATHIEU BORYSEVICZ

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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