Shi Xinning is a Chinese contemporary artist born in 1969 in Liaoning Province, best known for his series of oil paintings presenting an idealized, energetic Mao Zedong in the company of Hollywood stars, artists and political figures. Xinning received a formal education in art at the Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, graduating in 1990.
Trained in China, Shi Xinning’s paintings are influenced by both social realism and European styles. Using the authoritative qualities of both, Xinning embarks on history painting with a twist. Taking his imagery from iconic press photos, his canvases faithfully represent the world as we know it: the Yalta Conference in familiar 40s sepia tone, the Queen Mum in carriage emblazoned in newspaper black and white. It’s only on second glance that Xinning’s alterations become evident. Nestled between Churchill and FDR and conversing happily with royalty, Mao takes his place amongst the great leaders of the 20th century.
In China-fying history, Xinning investigates dynamics of both the west’s Eurocentric, and China’s isolationist past world views. Humorously illustrating the Chairman’s import and omnipresence in 20th c Chinese society his insertion of Mao into the fabric of western collective conscience seems entirely plausible. Infusing the totems of propaganda currency with a sense of normality and humility, Xinning re-authors the most cherished moments of collective memory with a “Forrest Gump” effect, creating a specious mythology based in Hollywood schmaltz and unabashed optimism.
Xinning portrays his scenes with a high level of detail, which gives his pictures a photorealistic appearance. He also uses very subtle brushwork, which helps support his illusion that his paintings are historical photos.
He has shown work internationally in many exhibitions including Mahjong at the Kunstmuseum in Bern, China Art Now at the Marella Gallery in Milan, China Contemporary Painting at Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna, and Landscapes at the Shanghai Gallery of Art.
Artist lives and works in Beijing, China.
|Year||Name of the exhibition||Museum/Gallery||Solo/Group|
|2012||The virtual placement of truth -Shi Xinning Solo Exhibition||White Box Art of Museum, Beijing||solo|
|2011||History Lessons||Pekin Fine Arts, Beijing, China||group|
|2011||15 Days: A Collaborative Work||White Box of Art Museum, Beijing,||group|
|2010||Unknown||Pekin Fine Arts, Beijing, China||group|
|2009||Tale of the Two Cities||Arndt and Partner, Berlin, Germany||solo|
|2009||Cina||Rinascita contemporanea, Palazzo Reale, Milano, Italy||group|
|2008||Shi Xinning Solo Show||Arndt and Partner, Zurich, Switzerland||solo|
|2008||Collection exhibition of Shi Xinning Works||SHINE Art Space, Shanghai, China||solo|
|2008||Lovely Blossoms and Full Moon: Yuz Collection of Chinese Contemporary Art||Yuz Art Museum Jakarta, Indonesia,||group|
|2008||Hypallage: The Post-Modern Mode of Chinese Contemporary Art||The OCT Art & Design Gallery, Shenzhen, China||group|
|2008||The Revolution Continues: New Chinese Art||Saatchi Gallery, London, U.K||group|
|2008||See History 2008||Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Germany,||group|
|2008||Art xines contemporani de la colleccio Sigg||Fundacio Joan Miro, Barcelona, Spain||group|
|2008||360°-Chinese Contemporary Art New Visions||Technopolis, Athens, Greece||group|
|2008||La Cina E Vicina||Palazzo Delle Arti Napoli, Italy,||group|
|2008||Free Zone: China||BSI, Lugano, Switzerland||group|
|2007||Polyphony||Arndt and Partner, Berlin, Germany||solo|
|2007||Pocheon Asia Biennale 2007||Pocheon, Korea,||group|
|2007||Black White Grey||Art Now, Beijing, China||group|
|2007||Moscow Biennial, Chinese Contemporary SOCIAL ART Exhibition||The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia||group|
|2007||Remixed & Revisited: New Visions on China||Arndt & Partner, Zurich, Switzerland||group|
|2006||The Road Map of Painting II||BTAP, Beijing, China||group|
|2006||China Coup||The Red Mansion Foundation, London, UK||group|
|2006||The Self-made Generation||Shanghai Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai, China||group|
|2005||The Other Shore of This Shore||Pingyao, China||group|
|2005||Ma Jiang, Exhibition of Mr. Uli Sigg Collection||Berne, Switzerland||group|
|2005||The Road Map of Painting||798 Space, Beijing, China||group|
|2005||Beyond Temporality||Pingyao, China,||group|
|2005||Dream Producers (IV/VI)||Xin Dong Cheng Space for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China||group|
|2005||Beijing Stories||The Red Mansion Foundation, London, UK||group|
|2005||Mahjong – Chinese Gegenwartskunst aus der Sammlung Sigg||Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland,||group|
|2005||China Contemporary Painting||Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio, Bologna, Italy||group|
|2004||Land Scapes||Shanghai Gallery of Art, Shanghai, China||group|
|2004||New Perspectives in Chinese Painting||Marella Arte Contemporanea, Milan, Italy||group|
|2004||China’s Photographic Painting||China Art Seasons, 798 Art Zone, Beijing, China||group|
|2003||Moyemode Moyemobude||798 Art Zone, Beijing, China||group|
|2003||China Art Now||Marella Arte Contemporanea, Milan, Italy||group|
|2002||Contemporary Art Exhibition – Deduct||Fabricate, Copy, Beijing, China||group|
|2001||Fake Reality||Fun Art Gallery, Beijing, China||solo|
|1998||In the City- Individuality||Beijing, China||group|
|1994||Northeast China Contemporary Art Exhibition||Shenyang, China||group|
|1993||China Biannual Oil Painting Exhibition||Beijing, China||group|