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Artworks paint a picture of change

Updated: 2013-08-26 16:32
By Zhang Kun in Shanghai ( China Daily)

Artworks paint a picture of change

Yu Hong's paintings trace her childhood, marriage and family life. Provided to China Daily

The Power Station of Art's exhibition Portrait of the Times - 30 Years of Contemporary Art in Shanghai renders a panorama of China's contemporary art development since the early 1980s.

The show displays more than 300 works by 117 artists or groups. The pieces are borrowed from public museums and private collections around the country.

Many pieces are recognizable to most Chinese but have rarely - if ever - been shown in Shanghai.

Artworks paint a picture of change

"We hope to present the changes of the people and national spirit over time," curator Li Xu says.

The show aims to appeal to senior officials who subscribe to academic traditions, youth familiar with contemporary art and the public at large.

Perhaps the most famous work is Luo Zhongli's oil painting Father.

The painting belongs to Beijing's National Art Museum of China, the director of which recently suggested it not be allowed to leave because of safety concerns.

"It was created in 1980, when large paintings conventionally only portrayed national leaders and heroes," Li says.

Luo's depiction of a hardworking farmer won acclaim at the second national youth art exhibition that year.

"When the jury debated how the period the piece depicted could be determined, Luo - after much hemming and hawing - painted a ballpoint pen behind his ear," Li says.

Most Chinese contemporary art pioneers are oil painters or sculptors, but Gu Wenda is celebrated for ink works.

Artworks paint a picture of change

Artworks paint a picture of change

 Artistic frontiers  Recognition factor

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