One of the last exhibitions I saw in Beijing before I returned to the States from living there was a solo show by Lin Tianmiao. I wished I had seen more of her work earlier in my time living in China, as it would have helped me stay positive about the mostly shallow and confused art scene there that was at the time propped up by sleazy, orientalist gallerists from Europe.
The work of Chinese comic artist Benjamin — nee Bin Zhang — is full of energy, and bright but contracted colours. He has published his comic book in seven European countries, and his book, Orange, was a big hit in the French market. After impressing fans with his fast and dynamic drawing skills at the Comic Convention in New York, the editors at Marvel Comics started to take notice of this young digital artist.
Chinese artist Yan Wei, aka Kokomoo, creeps me out. Her linear, black and white drawings of cute little girls with maniacal grins and soulless eyes look deep into my psyche with a hunger for destruction and pain. Luckily, in their two dimensional forms, they are unable to leap off the page and sink their sharp little teeth into my soft flesh. Instead, I can enjoy their evil cuteness from a safe distance, while pondering the reasons why Kokomoo’s style gets darker and darker as the years go on.
Chinese artist Liu Jianhua has built a model of the Shanghai skyline using just poker chips and dice. Widely known for his quirky ceramic sculptures, his exhibition Dream in Conflict has just been opened at the Galleria Continua in Italy and features Unreal Scene amongst other works bordering on the surreal.
Xinjian Lu is a Professor of Visual Communication at South Korea’s Yeungnam University. But he is also a gifted artist in his own right, as evidenced by these elaborately shaped and vibrantly coloured works from his Love series.
Taking a cue from Trevor Brown, Mainland Chinese artist Zhang Peng creates highly stylized photographs of women, whom he tweaks, with deft usage of the liquify function in Photoshop, to look like dolls.