Zheng Li, ‘To Shoot or Not to Shoot, That is The Question’, 2008, Lisa Sette Gallery

About Zheng Li

Part of a generation of Chinese artists born after the Cultural Revolution, Zheng Li creates acrylic paintings that capture the uncertain and sometimes dreamlike state of a rapidly modernizing superpower. The artist, who studied traditional European oil painting (as well as with his father), is best known for his haunting images of strange figures rendered in abstracted palette of grays, based on the traditions of Chinese painting. Zheng often chooses babies as his subject, but rather than painting innocent and gleeful infants, he portrays them as wizened beyond their years, smoking cigarettes or playing with guns, their faces contorted and disconcerting.

Chinese, b. 1976