The art of a Chinese artist Fang Lijun is characterized by a few themes that connect his works like a red line. Bald-headed men, water, clouds and the sky. He is best known for a woodblock printmaking.
Fang Lijun was born in 1963 in Hebei province, so his memories as a child and youth were marked by the years of the Cultural Revolution and its aftermaths that lasted until roughly the late 1970s. He had studied ceramics at the Hebei Light Industry Technology School, and later woodblock printing and painting at the renowned Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. At the Academy he developed an interest in woodblock printmaking and painting. He graduated in 1989 at the Fine Art Academy of Beijing.
His career began in the 1990s, when he exhibited outside China and could even participate in the Venice Biennale twice, in 1993 and in 1999. He came to ultimate international fame when the American Time magazine had published one of his paintings on the cover of the December issue of 1993.
Fang Lijun is regarded as a major proponent of a modern Chinese art movement called Cynical Realism. The term was created by Li Xianting, a famous art critic, publisher and mentor who has supported the Chinese avant-garde artists since the 1980s among others as publisher of an art magazine.
When Fang Lijun began his art studies, the academies were still teaching art in the tradition of Social Realism and old Chinese art. Woodblock printmaking was originally invented in China, and only later it was refined in Japan to what we call today Ukiyo-e.
It is a special merit of Fang Lijun that he picked up Chinese woodblock printmaking and integrated this technique into his personal style and technique. The artist’s specialty are monumental wall “paintings” that are put together by many panels of woodblock prints.
Fang Lijun’s art has developed since the 1990s. But his subjects have remained the same. He shows dumb-looking, stout men in water, or against a sky. Also clouds are a frequent element in Fang Lijun’s images. Some of the paintings remind of the images of Mao Zedong’s famous swims in the Yangtze river, a once carefully orchestrated political propaganda demonstration.
Fang Lijun’s artworks are meticulously executed. This is a common characteristic of contemporary Chinese artists. After all, they all went through an art training that put a lot of emphasis on skill.
Today Fang Lijun lives and works in Beijing and Dali in Taiwan.
|2014||The new Body of Work||Art & Public, Geneva||Solo|
|2014||My Chinese Friends||ALEXANDER OCHS GALLERIES BERLIN | BEIJING, Berlin||Group|
|2014||The 1st Xinjiang International Arts Biennale||Xinjiang International Arts Biennale, Urumqi||Group|
|2014||Right Is Wrong: Four Decades of Chinese Art from the M+ Sigg Collection||Bildmuseet, Umeå||Group|
|2013||Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China||The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NY||Group|
|2013||Portrait Of The Times - 30 Years Of Contemporary Art||Power Station of Art, Shanghai||Group|
|2013||Individual Growth - The Momentum of Contemporary Art||Tianjin Museum of Fine Arts, Tianjin||Group|
|2013||Voyage and Awakening||FAAM - Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka||Group|
|2012||Fang Lijun: Documenta||Museum of Contemporary Art - MOCA@Loewen, Singapore||Solo|
|2012||The breakthrough||CP Foundation, Jakarta||Solo|
|2012||Re-Ink Invitational Exhibition Of Contemporary Ink And Wash Painting 2010-2012||Hubei Museum of Art, Wuhan, Hubei||Group|
|2012||Future Pass World Exhibition||Today Art Museum, Beijing||Group|
|2012||Look Away||Hive Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing||Group|
|2011||Six + six: energy, left||Gallery Yang, Beijing||Group|
|2011||Painters From China||Meulensteen (Former Max Protetch), New York City, NY||Group|
|2010||Recycling of the classic - limited edition art famous Carnival||Gallery Yang, Beijing||Group|
|2010||Western China International Art Biennial||Western China International Art Biennial, Beijing||Group|
|2010||CHINESE *||ALEXANDER OCHS GALLERIES BERLIN | BEIJING, Berlin||Group|
|2010||Thirty Years of Chinese Contemporary Art||Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai||Group|
|2010||Facing East||Initial Access Frank Cohen Collection, Wolverhampton||Group|
|2009||Fang Lijun: Thread of Time||The Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, Guangdong||Solo|
|2009||Fang Lijun. Sea and Sky||Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Bielefeld||Solo|
|2009||Endlessness of life: 25 Years Retrospect of Fang Lijun||Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei||Solo|
|2009||Chasing Flames||Klein Sun Gallery, New York City, NY||Group|
|2009||Chinamania||ARKEN Museum for Moderne Kunst, Ishoj||Group|
|2009||The China Project||Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, QLD||Group|
|2008||Fang Lijun - Gigantic Woodcuts in Colour||Vendsyssel Kunstmuseum, Hjørring||Solo|
|2008||Fang Lijun - Gigantic woodcuts in colours||The Faroe Islands Art Museum, Thorshavn||Solo|
|2008||ChinasRevision - Fokus Beijing||Ludwig Museum im Deutschherrenhaus, Koblenz||Group|
|2008||3rd Nanjing Triennial||Nanjing Triennial, Nanjing, Jiangsu||Group|
|2008||The ORIGIN: The First Annual Moon River Sculpture Festival||The Moon River Museum of Contemporary Art (MR MoCA), Beijing||Group|
|2008||China Here And Now||Madelyn Jordon Fine Art, Scarsdale, NY||Group|
|2007||FANG LIJUN: PLACES TO PLACES TO PLACES||ALEXANDER OCHS GALLERIES BERLIN | BEIJING, Berlin||Solo|
|2007||The Power of Universe||The Frontier of Contemporary Chinese Art - Asia Art Center, Taipei||Group|
|2006||Life is Now||Galeri Nasional Indonesia, Jakarta||Solo|
|2004||Fang Lijun: Woodcuts + Paperworks||ALEXANDER OCHS GALLERIES BERLIN | BEIJING, Berlin||Solo|
|2004||Fang Lijun - Woodcuts||Thomas Erben Gallery, New York City, NY||Solo|
|2002||Fang Lijun - Zwischen Peking und Dali||Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen||Solo|
|2001||FANG LIJUN||ALEXANDER OCHS GALLERIES BERLIN | BEIJING, Berlin||Solo|