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b. 1969, China

Shi Xinning Biography

The Beijing-based painter Shi Xinning explicitly distances himself from this tradition. The son of an officer in the People's Liberation Army, he was born in 1969 in the northeastern province of Liaoning. In a series of oil paintings on canvas that he has been working on since 2000, an idealized energetic Mao is seen in the company of Hollywood stars, artists and political figures. But these works do not present retrogressive arguments. Instead they tell fictitious or, as he calls them, utopian stories. Shi Xinning compares his work as an artist with that of a film director. He often uses newspaper images as the basis for his paintings. In keeping with the visual qualities of these media images, he employs barely visible brushwork and a washed out, muted palate. Shi Xinning then develops his narratives, substituting objects or people in the original with his own selections, adding elements that were not there in the original, and adjusts the lighting of the scenes. "I almost always work with a staging of completely incompatible props and scenery. For example, Mao views a Duchamp exhibition in China - something that never took place. Or I place a curved steel sculpture by Richard Serra in Tiananmen Square - facing Mao's famous portrait at the entrance to the Forbidden City. Or I arrange a meeting between a Mao statue and New York's Statue of Liberty. […] I am not interested in Mao Tse-tung as a real person. Today, Mao is still an icon in China. He is omnipresent; he defined my childhood and the lives of my parents. I never show him in the real context of the 60s or 70s. I present him as a visual memory."

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He took part in numerous of international group exhibitions such as See History at Kunstalle zu Kiel, Kiel (2008/2009), Saatchi Gallery, London (2008), Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona (2008), Art Now, Beijing, China (2007), 2nd Moscow Biennial (2007), Mahjong – Chinesische Gegenwartskunst aus der Sammlung Sigg, Kunstmuseum Bern (2005), Museum der Moderne Salzburg and Kunsthalle Hamburg (2007), Shanghai Zendai Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai (2006) and New Perspectives in Chinese Painting, Marella Arte Contemporanea, Mailand (2005)

Shi Xinning In Ocula Magazine

Dr Uli Sigg Ocula Conversation Dr Uli Sigg By Diana d'Arenberg, Hong Kong

I'm very much a fan of the public institution. I think only the public institution can provide the long-term guarantee that it will continue to exist and it will be 'the' public memory.

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Shi Xinning In Related Press

M+ Sigg Collection Exhibition Related Press M+ Sigg Collection Exhibition 24 February 2016, WestKowloon

Comprising more than eighty works by fifty artists – including Ai Weiwei, Fang Lijun, Geng Jianyi, Huang Yong Ping, Zhang Peili, and Zhang Xiaogang – this is the first-ever chronological exhibition about the emergence of Chinese contemporary art. It shows both the development of Chinese contemporary art and a glimpse of the collection...

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