Wu Junyong, ‘I See Nothing’, 2008, Ethan Cohen New York

About Wu Junyong

Infusing his work with a mixture of dark humor and pathos, Wu Junyong produces quietly powerful paintings, works on paper, installations, and animations through which he laments and lampoons the foibles of those in power and the disingenuousness beneath social mores. Though he focuses on Chinese society and politics, the sense of melancholy, helplessness, and isolation he conveys in his work, engendered by these deeply flawed human systems, is universal. Drawing from traditional Chinese folk arts—like shadow puppetry and opera—Wu populates his works with lonely figures and sad animals, locked in menacing, confusing, absurd, or embarrassing situations. As he describes: “As far as I’m concerned every picture is a riddle. It might suggest a story we think we’re familiar with, but then I put a whole lot of other random things in there with that to confuse.”

Chinese, b. 1978, based in Hangzhou, China

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