Wang Guangyi, acrylic on canvas, 1995
In his early work, the Chinese artist Wang Guangyi extract any form of humanistic emotion and reduced his compositions to mere formality. He took this rationalistic approach even further by dividing his canvases into grid patterns. This was followed by his ‘Great Criticism’ series in which he combined propaganda images from the Cultural Revolution with Western advertisements. Under the designation of ‘Political Pop’, Wang brings together the old and new customs of China as a similar form of brainwashing.
His ‘Visa’ series is a sneer at the bureaucratic system where every individual is deprived of their privacy. In the 1990s, the dissident Chinese artists enjoyed worldwide success and wanted to travel to the respective places. In order to obtain a visa, they were classified according to their identity data, deprived of their humanity and equated with the assessment of a dog.
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