Guangyi Wang


Guangyi Wang

Born in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China in 1956, Wang Guangyi graduated from the Oil Paintings Department of the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts. Wang now lives and works in Beijing.

Classified in China under the genre Political Pop of the Chinese Contemporary Art Movement, Wang Guangyi’s paintings combine the ideological power of communist propaganda with the seductive allure of advertising. Wang’s paintings appropriated the visual tropes of the propaganda of the Cultural Revolution with the colour style of American Pop. Juxtaposing revolutionary images with consumer logos, Wang’s canvases provocate with their duplicitous message, highlighting the conflict between China’s political past and commercialised present. Stylistically merging the government enforced aesthetic of agitprop with the kitsch sensibility of American pop, Wang’s work adopts the cold-war language of the 60s to ironically examine the contemporary polemics of globalisation.

Wang Guangyi definitive painting series “Great Criticism, was motivated by his perceptive understanding of commercial society. His paintings expressed that imported commodities from the West had entered China in large quantities in the 90s and to the artist it seemed that this was an invasion of culture , Western ideology and consumerism that have infiltrate into China. Through his critique, Wang’s paintings weave intricate narratives, implicating the role of the artist as an active participant (both as subjugator and subservient) in economic and social policy. Wang treads a very delicate line between moral dictum and capitalist endorsement; the interpretation of his paintings alternates with the subjectivity of context. Amalgamating, confusing, and blurring opposing ideological beliefs, Wang’s billboard sized canvases readily sell out national valour, while simultaneously devaluing status symbol luxury for the proletariat cause.

Wang has held several successful and definitive exhibitions internationally. His influential and provocative works are collected and showcased by museums around the world.


Guangyi Wang, Great Criticism - Emirates
Guangyi Wang, Great Criticism -  Polo, 1998
Guangyi Wang, Great criticism - Coca-cola, 2005
Guangyi Wang, Great criticism: Time Warner, 2005
Guangyi Wang, Izod