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Wang Guangxi at MOCA in Singapore

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The Chinese avant-garde artist Wang Guangxi, a pioneer in the Chinese contemporary art scene, is often referred to as the ‘King of Political Pop” for his “Great Criticism” series, which imposed popular Western capitalism icons onto Communist style revolutionary propaganda posters. He visited Singapore to launch his new exhibition “Image Correction” held at MOCA and part of the unique Singapore Art Week, with fairs like Art Stage and Singapore Contemporary Art Show. The exhibition shows his recent works, which are more muted and smaller in scale compared with the Great Criticism series from 1990-2007, where he made his name. It also includes “the Gurus” from 2011, a series of four phantom-like portraits of communist leaders Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Vladimir lemon and Joseph Stalin. Wang Explains: ” I feel like all historical images contains an obscured reality. Through my works, or corrections I am trying to locate or return to that reality”.

The curator, well-known art critic and historian Lu Peng says; “Wang’s work is informed by China’s experience. He started out looking at philosophy, religion and history in China, but as the country opened up, he began to explore issues such as Cold War and international relations”.

The high-profile deal has made him one of the four top-selling contemporary artists in China together with his peers Zhang Xiaogang, Yue Minjun and Fang Lijun, earning them the label of “Fab4”.

Wang admits, he admire Mao from an artist point of view. He is a figure of charisma. I grew up looking upon his visage, so I fell some conflict that my opinion and feelings towards him differ from those of the public. His immortal works from the Great Criticism series, done in the pop-art style popularised by one of his artistic influences, Andy Warhol.

Daniel Brostrom