chinese contemporary art
Big Face
Beijing Exhibitions>>

Wang Ke Solo Exhibition

Chinese Contemporary is pleased announce the opening of Big Face, an exhibition of new works by Wang Ke.  This exhibition is the first solo show for the artist and runs from 28 October to 28 November at Chinese Contemporary, Beijing.  A short catalogue of the artist’s work has been produced in conjunction with the exhibition. 

A recent graduate from the China Academy of Fine Art in Hangzhou, Wang Ke is one of the most promising young voices to emerge from the academy.  The artist’s canvases are dominated by large, cartoonish heads whose seeming simplicity is belied by surprising details – a snail, a fly, the trail of an IV tube, a spider’s web -- that provide depth to the work.  Each canvas is as unique as it is vibrant and each portrait reflects the artist’s moods as she shifts between feeling happy, sad, vulnerable, strong, rebellious and dutiful.  As her mood changes, the subjects in her work are alternatively smirking, jailed, cloaked, masked, bandaged and amused.  

The subjects in Wang Ke’s paintings possess a vitality that reflects the personal nature of her work.  The paintings in this exhibition are the results of the artist’s exploration and examination of self.  In works such as Angels Can Also Be Hurt and Pretty Girls Can Also Be Hurt, Wang Ke uniquely blends humour and melancholy in the bandaged faces of angels and qipao-clad beauties, whereas works from her Glasses series seem to convey the affected aloofness best characterized by a teenager’s quest for cool. Other works, like These Pox, portray ill and injured subjects whose coy, mischievous expressions beg the question of what fun caused the injury.  This points to the fact that, overwhelmingly, Wang Ke’s works are comical self-portraits that illustrate the complexity of seemingly simple emotions.     

Wang Ke’s works are equally a caricature of and an affirmation of self. In the artist’s own words, “it seems like everyday I have to paint myself. If I don't, I might forget who I paintings make sure I like myself better.”  A child of the One Child Policy, Wang Ke exemplifies the self-obsessed, quirky and, ultimately, brilliant single children that this policy has produced.