Hong Hao, 10 Years Chinese Contemporary, 2006
127 x 226 cm
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Hong Hao is a highly independent artist, not forming part of any school. His work is innovative, astute and satirical. Much of his work deals with illusion, appearance and preconception. He has spent many years working on a book of maps, called the Scriptures, that reshapes the world according to different forces. For example one map, New World Order, shows the world rearranged geographically and the names of large corporations used to name the countries. Another redistributes land mass according to military and economic strength. Another replaces the names of capital cities with popular expressions or words, yet another shows nuclear arms stationed in selected sites the world over. Hong Hao's intent is to confuse and thus challenge orthodox perceptions. He continues this challenge with great irony and less foreboding in his photographic series Beijing Tour Guide,1999-2000.
One of Hong Hao's best known photographic series, "My Things", opened up a new realm of personal expression for the artist. The photographs are composed of thousands of scanned images of objects from his own life. These commonplace things are arranged by the artist using a computer. There is no traditional photo taken by a camera. The objects are shown life size and some represent over 20 years of accumulation on the part of the artist while others could have been part of that day's lunch. These micro universes, from afar like satellite photos, close up invite a moment of intimacy, a glimpse into the life of the artist, a discovery of contemporary China and a chance to pick out what we would find in our own homes.
My Things No. 6, 2002, appears different from the other works in this series since it refers only to the communist revolution whereas the other works in the series cover a variety of subjects. Hong Hao subtitles My Things No. 6: The Hangover of Revolution in my Home which is revealing of the continued presence of the communist and specifically the Cultural revolutions for the Chinese of Hong Hao's generation. For the West these revolutions are long over but for many Chinese they are still as much a part of their consciousness as the noodles and pliers of My Thing's 4, completed in 2002.
Most recently, to commenorate Chinese Contemporary's tenth anniversary, Hong Hao created 10 Years Chinese Contemporary, a work that visually captures the past 10 years of Chinese contemporary art. Ticket stubs from important art fairs, the cover images from artists', like Ma Liuming and Wei Dong, first catalogues and artist's personal phtographs are interspersed with images of works prevously exhibited by the gallery, each of which mark a seminal time for the featured artists as well as for the gallery. A visual tour de force and a documentary work of immport, 10 Years Chinese Contemporay tells the story of not only where Chinese Contemporary has been but also of the Chinese contemporary art's journey.