About Fang Lijun – a Chinese Artist

Fang Lijun was born on 1963 Born in Handan, Hebei province, PR China. The bald headed youth which first appeared in the artist’s paintings in the early 1990s has become Fang Lijun’s characteristic figure and has been widely interpreted as the symbol of disillusion, mockery and rebellion in present Chinese society. Later series include the water series, dreamlike works of swimmers, and gigantic, multi-panel, woodblock prints.

Fang Lijun is the leading protagonist of Cynical Realism, the major movement of the post-1989 era in contemporary Chinese art. Cynical Realism, an urban based movement, developed in the aftermath of the events of 1989 which included not only the demonstrations at Tiananmen Square but the closure earlier that year of the “China Avant Garde” exhibition at the China National Gallery in Beijing by the authorities. Fang’s monumental sized prints revive the ancient Asian practice of woodblock printing — a complicated and exacting process of carving a ‘negative’ image into a panel, coating the surface in ink, and impressing the image onto paper; each different colour and tone requires a separate plate and order of printing. Due to their immense scale, Fang’s images are composed on several adjoined scrolls, Thematically, each of these prints describe the plight of the individual against the ‘mass’, creating a spiritual contemplation of solitude the quest for personal probity in the face of adversity.

Fang’s painting 30th Mary evokes these same sentiments with a humorous effect. Reminiscent of European church ceiling paintings, Fang portrays an order of ascendancy of same-same kewpie figures, each based on his own image. one of the most famous images of contemporary Chinese art is the Fang Lijun painting owned by the Ludwig Museum, Cologne, Series 2 – Number 2, 1992. The main figure, a friend of the artist, could be yawning or yelling while the mute, menacing figures in the background bring to mind mindless, manipulated masses. The contrast between the strong individuality of the main figure and the dazed conformity of the four background figures is overwhelming.

The exhibition of their works at the China National Gallery was the culmination of that decade and signalled to the artists that they had been recognised. The dramatic closure of the exhibition soon after its opening marked the destruction of those goals.

Selected Exhibitions-

2006

• Kupferstichkabinett Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Germany

2005

• National Galerie / China Art Museum,Beijing, China

Art Cologne, Germany

2004

• Fang Lijun, Leben Ist Jetzt, Alexander Ochs Galleries Berlin,Beijing,Berlin,Germany

2002

• Fang Lijun, Between Beijing & Dali,Woodcuts & Paintings 1989 – 2002,Ludwig Forum for InternationaleKunst Aachen

2001

• Fang lijun, Asian Fine Art, Berlin

• Prüss + Ochs Gallery Germany

1998

• Fang Lijun, Max Protetch Gallery, New York

• From Beijing to Amsterdam and Back,Stedelijk Museum/Galerie Serieuse Zaken,Amsterdam

1996

• Fang Lijun: Human Images in an Uncertain Age, The Japan Foundation Asia Center,Tokyo

• Fang Lijun, Galerie Bellefroid, Paris

• Fang Lijun, Galerie Serieuse Zaken, Amsterdam

Conclusions:

Fang Lijun is the leading protagonist of Cynical Realism, the major movement of the post-1989 era in contemporary Chinese art. Fang Lijun exhibited his works at the China National Gallery which was the culmination of that decade and signalled to the artists that they had been recognised at Chinese art circles.

What to Do Next…

If you want any information about Fang Lijun or looking for his paintings please visit us on http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/artists/fang_lijun.htm

Saatchi-gallery
http://www.articlesbase.com/art-articles/about-fang-lijun-a-chinese-artist-134543.html

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