Wang Jinsong


Wang Jinsong
b. 1963, Heilongjiang
Oil and traditional Chinese painter, photographer
Wang Jinsong is an artist working in different media whose artistic explorations have consistently focused on the rapidly changing phenomena of contemporary society. Wang graduated from the Chinese Academy of Fine Art in Hangzhou (1987) with a degree in Chinese Traditional Painting; his earliest artistic endeavours were produced in this medium. However, it was his dense, carnival-like oil paintings that helped put him in the forefront of the Chinese art scene in the early 1990s. His paintings often depict street scenes, crowded with eclectic characters posing in front of recognizable historical and political sites around Beijing. Some of the characters’ faces are left unpainted, or only slightly drawn, which gives the paintings a ghostly quality. Wang Jinsong began his photography project, Standard Family, in 1997. The project is comprised of 200 photographs of Beijing parents, in front of a red backdrop, with their only child posed between them. The piece gained international recognition as an acute reflection of the one-child policy in China (and see little emperors).
His Parent series, which consists of images of aging couples in their own environments, also reflects the changing dynamics of family life in China.
Wang Jinsong has also continued to exhibit ink and watercolour works throughout his career. He teaches in the Fine Arts Department of the Institute of Education in Beijing. His work has been exhibited in ‘China’s New Art Post-1989’ (Hong Kong and other venues), ‘Inside/Out: New Chinese Art’ (Asia Society, New York and San Francisco MoMA), and ‘50 Years Inside the People’s Republic of China’ (Aperture Foundation, USA), and is also in the collection of the International Center of Photography, New York.
Doran, Valerie C. (ed.) (1993). China’s New Art, Post-1989, with a Retrospective from 1979 to 1989. Hong Kong: Hanart T Z Gallery (exhibition catalogue). Reprinted in 2001 by Asia Art Archive, Hong Kong. Exhibition catalogue.
Smith, Karen (2001). ‘Wang Jinsong’. Chinese-art.com 4.3, available at http://www.chinese-art.com/artists/WangJinsong/index.htm
MATHIEU BORYSEVICZ

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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