Wang Qingsong

China 1966

Photography, Video Art

Wang Qingsong
Wang Qingsong
March 2, 2015

Wang Qingsong is a Chinese photographer best known for his humorous and ironic photographs of consumer culture in China. His works, which sell for tens of thousands of dollars, depend on advanced photographic and printing technology and highlight the absurdities of modern life, but most also contain references to classical Chinese art.

Born in 1966 in Heilongjiang Province, he graduated from the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts in 1993. By the late 1990s, Wang transitioned from a Gaudy style of painting – a variation of Pop Art – to large-scale color photography that references classical Chinese art.

Like many contemporary Chinese artists, he enlists the fruits of capitalism and consumer culture to proclaim his distaste for both. He uses photographs – staged with actors on film-studio sets, digitally edited, and printed at cinema-screen scale – to register his sardonic response to the changes that have turned China upside-down. As the artist states, ‘All these Western consumer products ‘modernize’ this originally agricultural country. But this trendy, fashionable lifestyle is ridiculous, contradictory and crazy.’

Critical of the proliferation of Western consumerism in China, Wang’s Competition shows the artist standing with a megaphone in front of a city hall covered in advertisements for brands such as Citibank, Starbucks, and Art Basel. Bathhouse shows the artist sitting in a pool surrounded by women, plastic fruit, and Coca-Cola bottles. His 31 foot long photomural from 2000 Night Revels of Lao Li, based on a tenth century scroll painting, depicts a Contemporary Art critic who was fired from an official magazine for supporting Gaudy Art. More recently, Wang has worked in video and performance art, including his Iron Man, which shows fists punching the artist’s face, and symbolizes the endurance of social and personal obstacles.

Wang’s work has been exhibited at many museums and institutions around the world, such as the International Center of Photography in New York, the Shanghai Art Museum, and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.

Wang Qingsong lives and works in the capital Beijing.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumGroup/Solo
2012Art Stage SingaporeSingaporeGroup
2012CAPITAL - Merchants in Venice and AmsterdamSwiss National Museum, Zurich, SwitzerlandGroup
2012Beyond the WallJeonju Photo Festival, KoreaGroup
2012Shades of RedLDX Gallery, Hong KongSolo
2012The Best of Times, The Worst of Times: Rebirth and Apocalypse in Contemporary ArtInternational Contemporary Art Biennale, Kyiv, UkraineGroup
2011ZoneLDX Gallery, Hong Kong, ChinaGroup
2011MonanismMuseum of Old and New Art, Tasmania, AustraliaGroup
2011Living Frontiers of Architecture III and IVLouisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen, DenmarkGroup
201142nd Recontres de la PhotographieArles, FranceGroup
2011Surreal versus Surrealism in Contemporary artInstitut Valencia d’Arte Moderna (IVAM), SpainGroup
2011Look EastLucca Photo Festival, ItalyGroup
2011Towards the Social LandscapeLianzhou Photo Festival, Guangdong Province, ChinaGroup
2011Wang QingsongGalerie Paris-Beijing, Paris, FranceSolo
2011When Worlds CollideInternational Center of Photography, New York, USASolo
2010Follow MeCentro Andaluz de la Fotografia, Almeria, SpainSolo
2010Follow MeClaustro del Palacio Provincial de Cádiz, Spain.Solo
2010Wang Qingsong: Three Video ProjectsPékin Fine Arts, Beijing, ChinaSolo
2010The Beauty of Distance: Songs of Survival at a Precarious Age17th Biennale of Sydney, The Art Gallery of New South Wales, AustraliaGroup
2010Never Equal Distance To The MoonStiftelsen 3,14, Bergen, NorwaryGroup
2010Intimacy! Baden in der KunstKunstmuseum Ahlen, Ahlen, GermanyGroup
2010Daegu Photo BiennaleDaegu, KoreaGroup
2010International Contemporary Art Biennale in China WestNingxia Contemporary Art Museum, Ningxia, ChinaGroup
2010Great PerformancesPace Beijing, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2010History LessonsPekin Fine Arts, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2010Writing: Nanjing BiennaleNanjing, ChinaGroup
2010A Decade Long Exposure: History without Memoriesthe Museum of Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, ChinaGroup
201021st Century: Art in the First DecadeQueensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, Australia.Group
2010Photography from the New ChinaGetty Museum, Los Angeles, U.S.A.Group
2009Wang Qingsong2009 Hammer Project, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USASolo
2009China: Past, Present & FutureMuseum der Stadt Ratingen, Ratingen, GermanySolo
2009Action – Camera: Beijing Performance PhotographyMorris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver, CanadaGroup
2009Three Decades: The Contemporary Chinese CollectionGallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, AustraliaGroup
2009China: Contemporary Art10th Havana Biennial, Centro Hispanoamericano de Cultura, Havana, CubaGroup
2009The 3rd Guangzhou International Photo BiennaleGuangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, ChinaGroup
2009Christian Dior: 60 Years of PhotographyMoscow museum of modern art - MMOMA, MoscowGroup
2009The Simple Art of ParodyTaipei MOCA, Taiwan, ChinaGroup
2009Gextophoto 2009 International Photography FestivalGexto, SpainGroup
2009The Dark Science of Five ContinentsGallery BMB, Mumbai, IndiaGroup
2009Experimental Cases of Contemporary Chinese Artthe Museum of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2009Mise-en-SceneOfficina, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2008Wang QingsongAlbion Gallery, London, UKSolo
2008CautionPKM Gallery, Beijing, ChinaSolo
2008Phantom ChinaKunsthalle Nexus, Saalfelden, AustriaSolo
2008Wang Qingsong: Temporary WardBaltic Contemporary Art Center, Gateshead, UKSolo
2008Panic, Fear and ViolenceMarella Gallery, Beijing, ChinaSolo
2008Unparalleled MadnessMadhouse Contemporary, Hong Kong, ChinaSolo
2008CINA XXI Secolo: Arte fra Identita’ e TrasformazionePalazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, ItalyGroup
2008Fabricating Images from HistoryChinablue Gallery, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2008Body Language: Contemporary Chinese PhotographyNational Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, AustraliaGroup
200855 Days in Valencia: Chinese Art MeetingInstituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno (IVAM), Valencia, SpainGroup
2008China GoldL’Art Contemporain Chinois, Musee Maillol, Paris, FranceGroup
2008Adidas Sport in Art ExhibitionToday Art Museum, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2008Go Game, BeijingGerman Embassy, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2008Translocalmotion: 7th Shanghai BiennaleShanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China, Busan, KoreaGroup
200821: Selections of Contemporary Art at the Brooklyn MuseumBrooklyn Museum, New York, U.S.A.Group
2008Christian Dior and Chinese ArtistsUllens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2008China: Construção – DesconstruçãoMuseu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand MASP, São Paulo, BrazilGroup
2008Variable CapitalBluecoat Gallery, Liverpool, EnglandGroup
2007China: Past, Present & FutureMEWO Kunsthalle, Memmingen, GermanySolo
2007Thinker: Wang QingsongChinablue Gallery, Beijing, ChinaSolo
2007Wang QingsongPKM Gallery, Seoul, KoreaSolo
2007Wang Qingsong: Between Nostalgia and CynicismEspaço Cultural Contemporâneo (ECCO), Brasilia, BrazilSolo
2007Chinese Contemporary PhotographyCentro-Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporaneo (ARTIUM), Vitoria-Gasteiz, SpainGroup
2007La invención del presenteCasa Asia, Madrid, MadridGroup
2007Timer –IntimacyTriennale di Milano, Milan, ItalyGroup
2007Thermocline of Art, New Asian WavesZKM Museum of Contemporary Art, Karlsruhe, GermanyGroup
2007Timeline: Human Speed & Technology SpeedKorea Center, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2007Beyond Icons: Chinese Contemporary ArtMiami Design District, Miami, U.S.A.Group
2007Mirror Image of Diversity: Six Person Exhibition of Contemporary ArtBeijing Tokyo Art Projects, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2006Wang QingsongAlbion Gallery, London, UKSolo
2006The Sixth International Photography Month in Moscow: Photobiennale 2006Moscow House of Photography, Moscow, RussiaGroup
2006Bucharest Biennale 2 - Bucharest Biennale for Contemporary ArtBucharest, RomaniaGroup
2006Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from ChinaHaus der Kulturen der Welt, BerlinGroup
2006Public ImagePublic Project in the City of Liege, BelgiumGroup
2006Acting the Part: Photography as TheatreNational Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, CanadaGroup
2006Acting the Part: Photography as TheatreVancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, CanadaGroup
2006The 37th Rencontres d’Arles PhotographieArles, FranceGroup
2006Con Cities: The 10th International Venice Architecture ExhibitionVenice Biennale, Venice, ItalyGroup
2006NewsBeijing Commune, BeijingGroup
2006Made in ChinaThe Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, Illinois, USAGroup
2006Ecotopia: The Second ICP Triennial of Photography and VideoInternational Center of Photography, New York City, U.S.A.Group
2006Intersections: Shifting Identity in Contemporary ArtJohn Michael Kohler Arts Center, Wisconsin, U.S.A.Group
2006Why Pictures NowMuseum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig - MUMOK, ViennaGroup
2005Wang Qingsong in ArrasCity Hall, Art Academy and Public Library, Arras, FranceSolo
2005Re-viewing the City: the First Guangdong International Photo BiennaleGuangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, ChinaGroup
2005Over One Billion ServedSingapore Civilizations Museum, SingaporeGroup
20051st Biennale Internationale d’Art Contemporain Chinois de MontpellierMontpellier, FranceGroup
2005Follow Me - Chinese Art at the Threshold of the MillenniumMori Art Museum, Tokyo, JapanGroup
2005Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from ChinaVictoria & Albert Museum (V&A), London, EnglandGroup
2005Die Chinesen: Contemporary Photography and Video from ChinaMuseum Het Kruithuis, Hertogenbosch, The NetherlandsGroup
2005Beyond Delirious: ArchitectureElla Fontanals- Cisneros Collection, Miami, U.S.A.Group
2005Baroque and Neo Baroque: The Hell of BeautyDomus Artium 2002, Salamanca, SpainGroup
2005Always to the Front: Chinese Contemporary ArtKuandu Museum of Fine Arts, TaiwanGroup
2005Grounding Reality: Chinese Contemporary ArtSeoul Art Center, Seoul, KoreaGroup
2005Ouh La La, KitschTEDA Contemporary Art Museum, Tianjin, ChinaGroup
2005Synergi: Fourteen Danish and Foreign Artists ExhibitionUdviklings Center Odsherred, Copenhagen, DenmarkGroup
2004Wang Qingsong: RomantiqueSalon 94, New York, U.S.A.Solo
2004Wang Qingsong: RomantiqueCourtyard Gallery, Beijing, ChinaSolo
2004Over One Billion ServedMuseum of Contemporary Art, Denver, U.S.A.Group
2004Photosynkyria 2004: Photography as Narrative ArtPhotography Museum of Thessaloniki, GreeceGroup
2004Grotesque RealityNational Museum of Contemporary Art Korea, GwacheonGroup
2004Officina Asia (Asian Workshop)Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Bologna, ItalyGroup
2004Image of HistoryPhoto España, Madrid, SpainGroup
2004Monument Recall: Public Memory and Public SpacesSF Camerawork, San Francisco, CAGroup
2004Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from ChinaAsia Society Museum and the International Center of Photography, New York, U.S.A.Group
2004Die: Contemporary Photography and Video from ChinaWolfsburg Museum, Wolfsburg, GermanyGroup
2004ExposureHereford Photo Festival, Hereford, UKGroup
2004Spellbound AuraMOCA Taipei, TaipeiGroup
2004Past in Reverse: Contemporary Art of East AsiaSan Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, U.S.A.Group
2003Wang Qingsong: Present-day EpicsSaidye Bronfman Contemporary Art Center, Montreal, CanadaSolo
2003Wang Qingsong: Present-day EpicsThe Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, Alberta, CanadaSolo
2003Prague Biennale 1Prague, Czech RepublicGroup
2003Fashion and StyleMoscow House of Photography, Moscow, RussiaGroup
2003A Strange Heaven: Contemporary Chinese PhotographyGalerie Rudolfinum, Prague, Czech RepublicGroup
2003Global Detail - Noorderlicht Photo FestivalGroningen, the NetherlandsGroup
2002Wang Qingsong PhotographyFoundation Oriente, Macau, ChinaSolo
2002Golden Future: Photography by Wang QingsongGalerie Loft, Paris, FranceSolo
2002Wang QingsongMarella Arte Contemporanea, Milan, ItalySolo
2002Satirizing the Times2nd Pingyao Photo Festival, Pingyao, ChinaSolo
2002Run, Jump, Climb, WalkYuanyang Art Center, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2002Money and Value: The Last TabooExpo 02, Biel, SwitzerlandGroup
2002Falsche EmotionenKunstbunker Tumulka, Munich, GermanyGroup
2002Special ProjectsP.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, U.S.A.Group
2002Chinese ModernityMuseum of the Foundation Armando Alvares Penteado (FAAP), São Paulo, BrazilGroup
2002The 2nd Pingyao International Photography FestivalPingyao, ChinaGroup
2002Paris-PekinEspace Cardin, Paris, FranceGroup
2002Chinart: Contemporary Art from ChinaMuseum Küppersmühle, Duisburg, GermanyGroup
2001Constructed Reality: Beijing and Hong Kong Conceptual PhotographyHong Kong Arts Center, Hong Kong, ChinaGroup
2001Next Generation: Art Contemporain d’AsiePassage de Retz, Paris, FranceGroup
2001Promenade in Asia: CUTEArt Tower Mito, Tokyo, JapanGroup
2001Chinese AlbumMuseum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Nice, FranceGroup
2001Cross PressuresFinnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki, FinlandGroup
2001Asian Contemporary Art ExhibitionGuangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, ChinaGroup
2000Glorious Life: The Photographs of Wang QingsongWan Fung Gallery, Beijing, ChinaSolo
2000Man and Space: 3rd Gwangju Biennale 2000Gwangju, KoreaGroup
2000Big Torino 2000: Biennale Arte EmergenteTurin, ItalyGroup
2000China Avant-Garde Artists DocumentsFukuoka Art Museum, Fukuoka, JapanGroup
2000Unusual & UsualYuangong Art Museum, Shanghai, ChinaGroup
1998Site of Desire: Taipei BiennialTaipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, TaiwanGroup
1996ChinaKunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn, GermanyGroup
1996Gaudy LifeWan Fung Art Gallery, Beijing, ChinaGroup