Wang Qingsong, ‘Preschool’, 2002, Pékin Fine Arts

Included in his national pavilion at this year’s Biennale, Wang Qingsong is one of China’s most recognizable contemporary artists. His elaborately staged photographs offer witty critique on modern China’s tumultuous clash of East and West, old and new.

About Wang Qingsong

Wang Qingsong’s staged photographs are vehicles for incisive, witty commentary on economic expansion, social tension, and rising Western influence in contemporary China. His work has been compared to that of Andreas Gursky and Gregory Crewdson due to similar aesthetics and photographic techniques, but Wang’s subject matter is his own, stemming from observations of, and concern for, the future of Chinese society. Images such as Competition (2004), a photograph of a stage set exhaustively plastered in corporate posters, and Follow me (2003), which depicts Wang sitting in front of a huge chalkboard covered with words that refer to the recent contemporary art boom, are resplendent with detail and references to history, popular culture, and Western art, rewarding close looking with a fuller picture of his ironic, deft touch.

Chinese, b. 1966, Daqing, Heilongjiang Province, China, based in Beijing, China