AAP Magazine #7 - Wild

Wang Qingsong

Chinese Photographer | Born: 1966

Born in Daqing, Heilongjiang Province, China 1966
1993: Oil Painting Department of Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts, Sichuan, China
Lives and works in Beijing since 1993
Awards: 2006 Outreach Award from Rencontres de la Photographie, Arles, France

Wang Qingsong graduated from the Oil Painting Department of the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts and currently lives and works in Beijing. After starting his career as an oil painter engaged in the Gaudi movement, he began taking highly staged photographs that explore the influence of Western consumer culture in China. In more recent works he has explored political and social themes including the struggles of the migrant population and Chinese diplomacy.

His photographs are known for their massive scale, deep symbolism and careful staging, which can sometimes take several weeks and involve up to 300 extras. Although photography is his main medium, he has explored performance and video art in more recent years. Qingsong’s work has been presented at prestigious galleries, museums and art fairs across the globe including the 55th Venice Biennale China Pavillion (Venice), the International Centre of Photography (NY), the Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), the Victoria and Albert Museum (London), the 42nd Rencontres de la Photographie (Arles), the Daegu Art Museum (Seoul), MOCA (Taipei), the Rockbund Art Museum (Shanghai) and the Mori Art Museum (Tokyo).


Wang Qingsong is a contemporary Chinese artist whose large-format photographs address the rapidly changing society of China. His photographs, appearing at first humorous and ironic, have a much deeper message. Critical of the proliferation of Western consumerism in China, his, Competition (2004), depicts the artist standing with a megaphone in front of a city hall covered in advertisements for brands such as Citibank, Starbucks, and Art Basel. "I think it is very meaningless if an artist only creates art for art's sake," he said. "I think it would be absurd for an artist to ignore what's going on in society." Born in 1966 in Heilongjiang Province, China, Wang studied at the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts. Although he was trained as a painter, Wang began taking photographs in the 1990s as a way to better document the tension of cultural shifts. The artist's works have been in exhibitions at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. Wang currently lives and works in Beijing, China.

Source: Artnet

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Qingsong: Wang Qingsong (Chinese Contemporary Photography)
Author: Wang Qingsong
Publisher: Thircuir
Year: 2012 - Pages: 128
Featuring the most prominent names in contemporary Chinese photography, these pocket-sized monographs explore the extraordinary diversity of the genre and showcase a creative, liberated, and unique artistic perspective. The collections present an obscure tableau of modern Chinese society, from magnificent landscapes and never-before-seen industrial compounds to the desires of China’s new youth and its growing sociopolitical challenges. The imagery from some of the most exciting artists working today—including “the invisible man” photos of Liu Bolin and the world-famous coal miner portraits of Song Chao—is prefaced with a concise essay that explains the background and inspiration of each featured photographer.

The most complete monograph of the works of Wang Qingsong, China’s most acclaimed photographer. His overscaled photographs, requiring hundreds of models and weeks of labor to build, his gigantic stages are redefining the scale of photography. His works are like still narratives of China’s mutation over the last few decades. Combining a pop and kitsch aesthetic with humor, Wang Qingsong tackles the main issues challenging his country and the world today. Wang Qingsong is a reference in Chinese contemporary art.
 
Wang Qingsong
Author: Zoe Butt, Wang Qingsong
Publisher: Hatje Cantz
Year: 2006 - Pages: 136
Wang Qingsong (b.1966), the enfant terrible of contemporary Chinese art photography, stages grand, kitschy tableaux that call to mind traditional Chinese scrolls, allegorical Renaissance paintings, Socialist public sculptures and more. Sexy, ironic and always over the top, the photographs critique China's new consumer culture, its growing materialism and wastefulness, while simultaneously revelling in its newfound decadence. Many of Qingsong's best works are amusing self-portraits, in which the artist positions himself in such a way as to force the viewer to question the direction in which our collective culture is turning.
 
Wang Qingsong: Romantique
Author: Wang Qingsong
Publisher: Blue Kingfisher
Year: 2005 - Pages: 30
Wang Quingsong may be China's answer to David LaChappelle or Pierre et Gilles. His grand, staged photographs have been featured in exhibitions at the International Center of Photography, San Diego Musuem of Art and the Contemporary Art Center, Montreal. Qingsong's recent tableau photographs are allegories based on masterpieces--both Eastern and Western. Qingsong's modern re-productions are replete with all the kitsch and irony of today's Chinese society, in which the old world frequently mingles with the new--with varied results.
 
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