Wang Qingsong’s staged photographs are vehicles for incisive, witty commentary on economic expansion, social tension, and rising Western influence in contemporary China. His work has been compared to that of Andreas Gursky and Gregory Crewdson due to similar aesthetics and photographic techniques, but Wang’s subject matter is his own, stemming from observations of, and concern for, the future of Chinese society.
The Beijing artist Wang Qingsong, born at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, has seen China morph from an insular, rural society to a globally engaged dynamo. Trained as a painter at the Sichuan Academy of Fine Art, Wang Qingsong turned to photography in the late 1990s in order to convey a distinctive and often acerbic vision of Chinese society during the country’s current economic boom. Working in the manner of a film director, he stages elaborate scenes involving dozens of models on enormous stages. His large-scale color photographs combine references to classic Chinese art with ironic nods to China’s new material wealth and rapidly growing consumer culture. His artwork has been collected by the Billstone Foundation (Spain), San Diego Museum of Art (USA), K20 and K21 (Dusseldorf, Germany) and the Cisneros Foundation (Miami, USA). The international art community has quickly taken note of his signature sophisticated wit and humour, which is strongly evident in his work.