ZHAO BO: VIBRANT CITY
Eli Klein Fine Art is proud to present Zhao Bo’s second solo exhibition in New York, his first at the Gallery. Through his paintings, Zhao Bo records the monumental cultural and political shifts in China, shown from the perspective of Chinese people. China’s opening to the West in the late 1980s ushered in a new era and these paintings provide a snapshot into this unique period. He clashes Communist and contemporary icons together in the same scene, revealing that Chinese society is more interested in adapting to contemporary culture than adhering to staid traditionalism.
Mocking the social realist propaganda of Communist China, Zhao Bo replaces the ideal Chinese worker or citizen with an ostentatious cartoon. The bright colors and enthusiastic poses express the vitality and exuberance of this new Chinese generation. Rather than revering Chairman Mao and principles of Communism, these wide-eyed figures revel in the glow of billboards and luxury goods. Yet, their placement in front of important Communist markers, such as Mao’s tomb or signs proclaiming, “Long live the people,” is a constant reminder of the government’s presence.
Zhao Bo received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts in Chongqing, China. His works have been exhibited in museums in China and the United States including the Denver Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Art Museum of Shanghai, the He Xiangning Art Museum in Shenzhen, and the Art Museum of Chongqing.
ZHANG GONG: MISS PANDA
Eli Klein Fine Art is proud to present Zhang Gong’s first solo exhibition in the United States. Zhang Gong’s work parodies instantly recognizable Western art, demonstrating the effect of Western popular culture on contemporary Chinese society.
In his most recent works, Zhang Gong incorporates cartoon characters with scenes from modernist Western paintings and other popular images. These juxtapositions simultaneously satirize and question ideas about what constitutes high art and originality. His own unique creation, Miss Panda, interacts with the Western characters in chaotic scenes. Miss Panda often finds her way into famous Western paintings, reminding the viewer that Western art, once banned, has now been assimilated into the collective consciousness of modern Chinese society. Through his works, Zhang Gong brings historic and contemporary art into dialogue with one another.
Zhang Gong’s paintings record the change in Chinese society and a shift toward a more global outlook. The characters from Western media are instantly familiar to their audience. The cartoon nature of the pieces implies humor, yet the subdued colors, repetition of the characters, and incongruity with their surroundings causes tension.
Zhang Gong received his Master of Fine Arts from the Central Academy of Arts and Design in Beijing and is currently a Professor in the Animation Department at Qinghua University. Zhong Gong’s works have been exhibited at the Kunstmuseum in Bonn Germany, the Singapore Art Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai. Zhang Gong’s animations have been selected for prestigious international film festivals throughout Asia, Europe, the United States, Australia, and Latin America.
_Both exhibitions will be on view at Eli Klein Fine Art from March 4 through April 22, 2010 and are accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue published by the Today Art Museum in Beijing, China. Both artists will be present for the opening reception on Thursday, March 4 from 6 – 9 PM.
For further information, please contact the gallery at (212) 255-4388 or info@EKfineart.com._