Political pop artist Qi Zhilong‘s work is showing in a group exhibition titled, CHINAMANIA, taking place until January 3rd at ARKEN Museum for Moderne Kunst, in Ishoj, Denmark, not far outside Copenhagen. CHINAMANIA diversely collects 24 works by 11 contemporary artists, and investigates the Chinese national scene, the international vista, and even the intimate effects the (inter)national level has at the local level for individuals.
Zhilong paints head shots of women that cross-reference China’s warm memories for its Revolution with today’s advertisement portraiture, the-selling-of-soap-with-sex trend. His work in CHINAMANIA, from his Chinese Girls series (2008), showcases three portraits of female red guards. He conspicuously omits the very tell-tale red star from their caps, and contrary to the brave visages of the famous youth soldiers, Zhilong renders these women uneasy, alarmed, and apparently shell-shocked. The portraits seem to point out the impinging nature of sociocultural shifts on person-hood, the feeling of having a rug pulled out from beneath you in wildly changing times.
Born in Mongolia in 1962, Qi Zhilong graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China in 1987. He resides in Beijing still. His last solo show, The OLYMP – Works on Paper occurred at the Galerie Burkhard Eikelmann, Dusseldorf in 2008.