Made in China

Imago Mundi

Contemporary Chinese Artists

  Two hundred small canvases like two hundred windows – real, not virtual - wide open on the Chinese contemporary art scene. A reality in which themes, aesthetic codes, formal solutions and expressive techniques, even the materials used, express a world in ferment, capable of offering extraordinary insights and reflections on the acute tensions in the relationship between individuals and society. An overview that brings together the works of established and emerging artists, of every background and age, not only from Beijing, the epicentre of the immense and explosive Chinese figurative scene, but from every region of this great country. In the collection are included works from Hong Kong, Taiwan, together with the Mainland, and even a few from China’s vast overseas diaspora.

Gao Brothers – Untitled (2012)


“We think too small, like the frog at the bottom of the well. He thinks the sky is only as big as the top of the well. If he surfaced, he would have an entirely different view”.
Mao Tse-tung

Lu Ying - Untitled (2012)

«China is chiefly known for its vigorous economic development, which within a few decades has brought it to the top of the list of world economic powers. Yet China is not just the largest world market: China is – and might increasingly become in the near future – a source of new cultural influences, of the kind that are powerfully asserting themselves in fields ranging from food to aesthetics and communication». Luciano Benetton

A Hai – Untitled (2012)

Gao Feng - Ancient Organisms Series Portrait of the Concubine Organism Tradition's Mutation (2012)

“He who listens forgets; he who sees remembers; he who does learns”. This old Eastern saying well illustrates the meaning of a collection of paintings by Chinese artists which seeks to bear visual witness in an acute and original way to the rapid changes that their great country is undergoing.

Wang Nengtao - Look Forward (2012)

Sun Zongjian - Untitled (2012)

Zhao Juntao - Confrontation (2012)

Meg Maggio, curator and art expert responsible for the Imago Mundi – Luciano Benetton Collection dedicated to China, recalls: «I asked each artist to think of this teeny-tiny canvas as a mirror reflecting themselves, as a platform to perform small acts of individual expression, as a tool to make oneself heard not only to a larger audience in Italy, but also to readers of the catalogue, readers whose reach would extend far beyond exhibit walls and Italy’s border».

Liu Su - The Foyer (2012)

Liu Zhi - Die Young (2012)


«The tiny canvas once complete would define the artist’s singular identity among the vast sea of creative talent living and working in Beijing and throughout China (according to various press reports upwards of 4,000 artists live in Beijing and its surrounding rural areas). Arguably, it is difficult for an artist’s voice to be heard anywhere in the world; it is especially difficult for a Mainland Chinese artist’s voice to be heard above the great mass and din of 1.3 billion people».

Li Qing - Two Shoulders (2012)

Yang Mingming - Untitled (2012)

«Yes, we sometimes spoke of this Benetton project as “juggling 200 balls”, as performing a ridiculous and impossible administrative task. But there were other days, when we were thrilled to pick and choose these pieces, and watch them grow into a giant mosaic made from miniscule artworks, a mosaic containing everything from traditional painting forms to more conceptual art objects, and pictorial-sculptural hybrids».

Fei Min - Cat (2012)

Lu Ying - Untitled (2012)

Redxing Ye - Untitled (2012)

Wang Le - No. 9 Sugar Temptation (2012)


«Some “small canvases” were self-referential, showing instantly recognizable signature work by established artists, whose practice is deliberately repetitive, aimed at long-term obsessive pursuits of form and materials. The canvases of Zhang Dali, Hong Hao, Chen Wenbo, Aniwar, Huang Zhiyang, Zheng Guogu, Miao Xiaochun and Liang Yuanwei immediately come to mind: they are easy for anyone familiar with Chinese contemporary art to pick out; their practices include an element of painstaking research methodology consistent across any scale and any medium».

Zhang Dali - Untitled (2012)

Chen Hongzhu – Untitled (2012)

«Some “small canvases”were self-referential, showing instantly recognizable signature work by established artists, whose practice is deliberately repetitive, aimed at long-term obsessive pursuits of form and materials. The canvases of Zhang Dali, Hong Hao, Chen Wenbo, Aniwar, Huang Zhiyang, Zheng Guogu, Miao Xiaochun and Liang Yuanwei immediately come to mind: they are easy for anyone familiar with Chinese contemporary art to pick out; their practices include an element of painstaking research methodology consistent across any scale and any medium».
Fang Lijun

Fang Lijun - Untitled (2012)


Imago Mundi’s hope is that these 200 small art objects may act as real rather than virtual windows on to the Chinese contemporary art scene.

Shen Jingdong - Hero (2012)

http://www.imagomundiart.com/collections/made-china

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The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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