Current Exhibition

Other Artists

Sunjin Galleries

Wu Qiong - Essence of performing

Exhibition runs from:

12 – 18 April 2012
ION Art Gallery, ION Orchard Level 4
10am – 10pm

Essence of Performing is Wu Qiong's 3rd solo exhibition in Singapore, the last being in 2009. This is a homecoming for Wu, since his first solo show in 2007. He has done extremely well internationally and locally, participating in various international art fairs, including Art Miami, Art Cologne and Bridge Art Fair.

In this exhibition, Wu Qiong's subjects seem buoyantly afloat. The Beijing-born artist's fairytale visions of childlike figures against stark backgrounds and pastel skies sets him apart. His work makes 'political stress release' and cynicism, once so characteristic of contemporary Chinese art, seem generations away. It is perhaps this contrast that reflects the economic leaps of his generation.

It is difficult to criticise the agent of modern change in China – economic development and liberalisation – but it is too simple to describe Wu's paintings as celebrations. In fact, his style bears some resemblance to the 'cartoon' painting of Guangdong Province in the 1960′s, which expressed a political stand against Beijing's cultural hegemony.

In 21st century China, Wu may just be resonating with the cartoon aesthetic of a generation absorbed by comic imagery, online gaming and computer worlds. It may seem relatively idyllic, but as Wu points out, "The artists born of this generation have been accused of being part of a shallow culture, as though they should apologise for not having been born into the turmoil and chaos that previous generations suffered."

No generation is without its hardships and there is a passionate orthodox realism in Wu's works that speaks above the humour. In this latest exhibition, Essence of Performing, his cartoon form has matured beyond social and personal representaion to indulge in its own celebration of archetype and subject. The limelight of children that once expressed yells of frustration along with whimpering smiles of generational privilege, has been stolen by internationally renowned celebrities. Perhaps Wu's latest works are saying that his generation, as it has enjoyed the fruits of its parents' labours, has also seen China rise admirably onto the international stage.

Click here to view invitation.

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