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.
The exhibition will be on view at Eli Klein Fine Art from March 4 through April 22, 2010 and is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue published by the Today Art Museum in Beijing, China. The artist will be present for the opening reception on Thursday, March 4 from 6 - 9 PM.
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