Last week was a class field trip to the 798 Art district here in Beijing. It is an extensive factory built in 1952 to make weapons that has been turned into galleries, lofts for artists, cafes, etc. I went with most of the folks from my class, some of us are in the picture below. We are French, American, Peruvian, Indonesian, German, Korean and Vietnamese.
The theme of contradictions was particularly strong throughout the entire trip. Artists who's ideas had been repressed during the era when this factory was operational were now almost overly expressive in their artwork. I enjoyed this scene in the picture. The red words overhead approximately say, "Make the factory a school for Mao Zedong's Ideology." Below the fading slogan are two designers on imported iMac computers busy at work. hmm..
Then we say many pieces of artwork that involved Mao like this pink statue...
And this interesting set of ads like this one that combined the slogan "Read Mao's little red book" with Western advertising slogans like Nike's "Just do it!"
Who knows...but Chinese Modern Art is certainly an interesting experience!