Wang Qingsong



Date Created:
Original Format:
Original Measurements:
120 cm x 210 cm

China’s integration with transnational capitalism reconfigured its global imaginary to one shaped not through alliance with Third World comrades but by connections with Asia and Oumei (Europe and America). This shift in visualizing the world comes into focus in a work like Wang Qingsong’s Forum. In this 2001 photograph, one in a series of staged, performative self-portraits, the artist appears as a modern-day Chinese bureaucrat sitting before a battery of microphones and photographers. The sign behind him announces, in Chinese and English, a fictitious "International Forum on Reestablishing Contemporary Civilization in China." The logos on the sign for the event’s corporate sponsors range from Japan’s JVC to the yellow arches of McDonald’s; the microphones are marked with insignia for medial channels such as BBC, CNN, CCTV, and Fox News, as well as national flags representing Canada, South Korea, and various European nations. The audience the artist addresses, with self-mocking seriousness, is clearly a capitalist West with links to the developmentalist economies of East Asia. Zhou Tiehai's Press Conference III (1996) presents a similar parodic image of the art world as "post Cold War" international stage.

Book Reference:
Introduction, Figure 9, Page 36

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Cultural Context:
Is Format Of:
Wang Qingsong, Shenghuo lizan [Glorious life] (Beijing: self-published postcard set, 2001).
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