Wang Guangyi born in 1956 was one of the founding members of the New Art Movement of the 1980s and had achieved international fame much early. He had started painting when Chinese Government had liberalized the society on its own in 1980s. At that time the artists in China had started enjoying the new found freedom. The art of the era was not therefore critical about Chinese political establishment but was only exploring the juxtaposition of the old in contrast with the new changes.
Guangyi took up old propaganda posters of the Chinese communist party and put them up against logos of MNCs that were flooding Chinese markets.
Guangyi still does the same. His paintings only explore the irony that is gripping Chinese Society. While most famous artists of the day are cynical towards Cinese political establishment, Guangyi is not.
In this respect Guangyi is more committed to art than probably the rest. While artists like Yue Minjun and Rong Rong are plain critical of establishment without being part of it, Guangyi accepts the artist as a participant in the social process and captures only the irony of change in his works.
Guangyi’s works fall in a category called Political Pop where the word pop refers to the use of iconography as was done by the American pop artists. The style was once very popular in China. Today however Guangyi alone does such work.
Guangyi has held successful solo shows in South Korea, Switzerland, and mainland China. He lives in Beijing.