The latest art craze sweeping the Chinese Internet? Tree hollow paintings. Netizens are going crazy for art student Wang Yue’s cutesy creations, painted in the hollows of trees lining a street in her hometown of Shijiazhuang. The story has been picked up by several mainstream news outlets, including CCTV News’ “Weiguan Tianxia” program, whose host Xu Zhuoyang called them “a touch of warmth in the midst of a cold winter.” Aww.
Yao Lu’s “New Landscapes” photos depict mountains, mist, rivers and trees, the cornerstones of classical Chinese painting, but take a closer look. What’s that trash? That construction netting? Via Michael Zhang of Peta Pixel: Yao arranges each scene shown in his large color photos, using the landfill materials to create various landscapes. He then photographs... Read more »
Are you sick of Christmas yet? The tawdry lights, varnished commercialism, snowy cliches? Has the inner cynic in you roused like the rough beast slouching toward Bethlehem?
Then this story is for you. Via the Washington Post:
To celebrate the Sackler Gallery’s 25th anniversary, Cai Guo-Qiang, the Chinese artist famous for his Olympic pyrotechnics display and his gunpowder art, plans to ignite a daytime fireworks show on the Mall that riffs on the Christmas tree lightings taking place around the country.
Inspired by the Facebook page “Drawing Dicks On The Herald Sun” — not safe for work, no siree — we at Beijing Cream have decided that dicks MUST be drawn on pictures culled from Chinese media. A purple-headed soldier poking out of a wok in a story about slow food? Yup. Winking kielbasa substituted for... Read more »
This bizarre and awkwardly beautiful sculpture appeared in Shiyan, Hubei province recently, titled something like “The Expression of Sex” (alternatively, “Sexual Expression,” or something to that effect). While considered outré by local standards, I believe its artistic merits justify the more vulgar elements, i.e. the flaunting flesh, for in this carving I see the contemporary acrobatics... Read more »
The Caochangdi branch of Beijing Design Week is an eclectic mess. The posters have the wrong dates. Designers didn't finish their work on time, so you'll find empty spaces in the place of installations. Volunteers might sell you a button or a program that's supposed to be free. You'll wonder what some exhibits, such as a mishmash of geolocation balloons and a physical "chat room" called "The Real Network," have to do with design.
Mix it all together, and you have a wonderful template for the best and worst of Beijing.
Two exhibitions opened in Beijing this weekend, both small yet worthier of a visit than many of the major ones held at, for example, the National Museum of China (unless you have a pressing interest in Louis Vuitton luggage).
Saturday saw the launch of “Art, Design, Culture: The History of Penguin by Design,” first exhibited at London’s V&A. It recounts the history of the paperback (or Penguin’s at least), which was conceived by Allen Lane in the 1930s as a way to popularize books and learning.
It's hard to miss the recent proliferation of graffiti in Beijing's public spaces. The underpasses, bridges, and neighborhood walls have been hit hard by the pandemic, and I'm not just talking about scrawled telephone numbers and advertisements (though you'll see your fair share of those). It seems the increased public vandalism, which stretches from deep inside Second Ring Road and extends to the outskirts of the city, is yet another sign of Beijing's burgeoning metropolitanism.