Tang Maohong, ‘Exclave Con-Tool’, 2013, ShanghART

About Tang Maohong

After staging performances early in his career, Tang Maohong switched to painting, photography, and experimental animation as means to express his self-described crazy thoughts. Set in circular frames, the stills from his first animation, Orchid Finger (2004), echo the composition of traditional bird and flower paintings, but their surrealistic depictions—for instance, a blue pregnant woman or a headless, pants-less man standing next to a giant snail—more closely resemble a hallucinatory trip. A great deal of his work has sexual undertones, although the artist claims trying to decipher meaning in his work is futile and uninteresting: “There is no reason why it exists. It all happens by coincidence,” he says. Incorporating commercial illustration techniques, Tang’s “creepy-sexy animations” (as Time Out Shanghai once described them) raise the commercial practice into the realm of fine art.

Chinese, b. 1975, Lingchuan, Guangxi Province, China, based in Shanghai, China