Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Monkeys and Saints

On Saturday July 5th I have an exhibition opening in a very cool gallery in Helsinki - Myymälä2 Gallery - For the exhibition "Monkeys and Saints" I have made some new paintings and I am also showing a new project called "Mao was There"... ok, I have to go now to finish packing... I will write as I get back to Berlin...

"Mao was (There) Pope" from "Mao was There" series

"Mao was (There) Elvis" from "Mao was There" series

"Mao was (There) Adolf" from "Mao was There" series

A bit of theory behind "Mao was There" project:

The marketing of contemporary Chinese culture is a relatively new thing. In the amazing growth of China’s economy and wild urbanisation process of the former rather agrarian communist country, art, as any other luxury, becomes more importance. Art market is increasing; prices for art works are similarly high as in Western countries. It is not only the Chinese market of cheap goods, copied design products or antique Ming vases – China has now a global power – both in financial and cultural terms. How could it happen?

I come from a country which used to have a communist government, similar, although less extreme, as in China. Analysing the situation in China and in the western countries I have come to conclusion that basically the Japanese tourists, as we know them, were in reality Chinese tourists disguised as Japanese. All these Japanese tourists with their cameras, taking photos of literally everything, were the Chinese. The Japanese did not need to document everything and research on what is happening in the West – they have their own style in art, design and architecture. It is in China, where in miserably lit basements hundreds of poor people are copying artworks of famous world masters, it is in China where copies of design products are almost as good as originals, and where local architects copy/paste buildings, houses and whole villages from western countries. Come to think of it… maybe it was the Chinese all the time? Chinese in disguise?


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