The Luo Brothers, lacquer on wood, 2006
The three Chinese brothers who make up the artist trio The Luo Brothers grew up during the Cultural Revolution. It was a time when China was rapidly changing politically and culturally. In the mid-1990s, their work is typified by the combination of traditional references and Western consumerism. The brothers were part of Gaudy Art (Yansu yishu), an art movement that was characterised by the concept of kitsch and bright colours. Ironically, their critical style was nevertheless commercialised and coveted by many international collectors.
‘Welcome to the World’s most Famous Brands’ shows elements of communist tradition and propaganda. There is the Tiananmen with Mao’s portrait, there are the chubby babies and the glowing rays of the sun. In contrast, we see Western elements like American hamburgers and trendy M&M figures. A critical reflection on Chinese society, made with a time-honoured traditional Chinese lacquer technique.
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