Meet the artist
- Shi Guowei
Shi Guowei’s work expresses the complicated relationship of his generation to the history of China, and to the history of Western and Chinese art. Using a distinctive visual vocabulary and compositions of paintings from around the world, he makes photographs that create an unstable sense of place and history, both in his choice of imagery and processes. Using digital editing techniques, Shi produces a monochrome original that he hand-colours in time-honoured style.
In Shi’s What year is it today (2008), cockerels are seen fighting in mid-air above the roofline of Beijing’s Forbidden City. The image is based on the famous painting by 12th century Emperor Huizong, Cranes above Kaifeng, an ink scroll made after the Emperor saw a flock of cranes circling over the city gates. Shi’s replacement of the cranes with agitated cockerels, often a symbol of advancement, here implies a fight for status, perhaps a comment on a rapidly growing, market-driven society. This work featured in the UBS Art Collection exhibition Pop Sensation at the Hong Kong Arts Centre in November 2012.
Title: What year is it today
Medium: Hand-coloured black-and white c-print
Size: 112 x 121 cm
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