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Qi Zhilong
October 8, 2009 - October 31, 2009
521 West 26th Street

This presentation will feature a new screenprint along with didactic state proofs, a new ukiyo-e woodcut, as well as an original painting which informs Qi’s work. 

Qi Zhilong’s work gained international fame around 1994 with his Consumer Icons series, rendering a superficial and shallow pop culture, forecasting an onset of consumption in China. However, by 1995 Qi began working on a series with more depth; his portraits of beautiful young women in uniform. These elegant compositions of females serve as reminders that in Mao’s time, portraits of this size were only of the Chairman himself. By not denoting the name of the sitters (who are often models, actresses, and celebrities) Qi lessens the value of the person the ideology underlying it; the worship of present and past idols. By painting contemporary sitters in past uniform, Qi Zhilong blends consumer attitudes of today with nostalgia for Mao, as the uniform becomes a dual symbol of the centralization of power in communism and the appeal of ideological liberalism. 

Qi Zhilong was born in 1962 in Hohhot, in Inner Mongolia. The artist studied at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, graduating in 1987. He moved permanently to Beijing in 1992. The artist has been the subject of numerous international solo and group exhibitions and his work is in many major collections including the Sigg Collection. Qi Zhilong currently lives and works in Beijing, China.

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