– A review on Wang Qingsong’s artwork at White Rabbit Gallery
If you are a contemporary art lover, I bet you know about the White Rabbit Collection, which has impressive collections of contemporary Chinese art. And if you happen to be a chinese like me, then you will not miss the Gallery’s 10th exhibition - Reformation .
Here I am standing in front of a 3-metres wide staged photograph called ‘Follow You’ by Chinese contemporary artist Wang Qingsong known for his large-scale photographs which explore the political, social and cultural issues of a rapidly changing China. He often hires ‘actors’ and construct sets in film studios like a film director. The theme of his photographs is often characteristically surreal and sarcastic, revealing China’s obsession with progress and the losses in this process. Looking at this photograph, I had this funny feeling that I could find myself sitting in this classroom among those students with heads down – sleeping. The rolls of rolls of students make a jam packed figures landscape. Piles and piles of books heavily sit on the desks companied with Coke bottles. Empty slogans densely fill up the walls. The only person not comatose is grey-bearded scholar-like the artist himself, who needs a drip to stay awake ironically. You may wonder what’s in the artist’s mind at that moment. My funny feeling disappeared and I started feeling exhausted, stressed and terribly sad.
I often chat to my friends in China, most of them are my classmates from schools and university back in China long time ago. From our conversations about their daily lives, I understand as an ordinary person living in China, what challenge, frustration and even anger they are enduring nowadays. I heard stories of children in China suffer serious stress from as young as 6 years old . Students do all the study for one and only one reason: to get a high score on the university entry exam. And one of my schoolmates told me half-jokingly that after studied Environmental Protection for 4 years and graduated from university 20 years ago, he hasn’t done a single deal about…