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5 Contemporary Chinese Artists To Watch

Who are not named Ai Weiwei.

  • <p>Yang Fudong, <em>The Coloured Sky : New Women II</em>, 2014 <br />
Considered one of the brightest young stars in cinematography and photography, Yang is known for his poetic, dreamlike films and surrealistic photographs.</p>
  • <p>Yang Fudong, <em>Blue Kylin</em>, 2008 – 2015 Multi-screens installation</p>
  • <p>Xu Zhen, <em>Eternity-The Soldier of Marathon Announcing Victory, A Wounded Galatian</em>, 2014<br />
Installation, video, and performance artist Xu is notorious for his critique of both politics and the art world.</p>
  • <p>Xu Zhen, <em>Physique of consciousness</em>, 2011<br />
Video<br />
Produced by MadeIn Company<br />
Known for his strong brushwork and bold colors, Lui paints intimate portraits from snapshots of friends, family, and everyday life.</p>
  • <p>Lui Xiadong,  <em>Bent Rib</em>, 2010<br />
Oil on canvas</p>
  • <p>Lui Xiadong. <em>Jincheng Airport</em>, 2010<br />
Oil on canvas</p>
  • <p>Lui Wei, <em>New production</em>, preparatory drawings, 2015<br />
Working in a variety of mediums--from painting to video--Lui emphasizes outlandish, visceral, and satirical elements.</p>
  • <p>Lui Wei, <em>Purple Air</em>, 2014<br />
Painting</p>
  • <p>Cao Fei, <em>RMB CITY second life city planning</em>, 2007 Video<br />
Tackling subjects as diverse as a Chinese factory and the virtual world of "Second Life," Cao's short poetic films explore the space between reality and the dream world, and the discontent and disillusionment of China’s younger generation.</p>
  • <p>CAO FEI. <em>Live in RMB City</em>, 2009 Video</p>
  • 01 /10

    Yang Fudong, The Coloured Sky : New Women II, 2014
    Considered one of the brightest young stars in cinematography and photography, Yang is known for his poetic, dreamlike films and surrealistic photographs.

  • 02 /10

    Yang Fudong, Blue Kylin, 2008 – 2015 Multi-screens installation

  • 03 /10

    Xu Zhen, Eternity-The Soldier of Marathon Announcing Victory, A Wounded Galatian, 2014
    Installation, video, and performance artist Xu is notorious for his critique of both politics and the art world.

  • 04 /10

    Xu Zhen, Physique of consciousness, 2011
    Video
    Produced by MadeIn Company
    Known for his strong brushwork and bold colors, Lui paints intimate portraits from snapshots of friends, family, and everyday life.

  • 05 /10

    Lui Xiadong, Bent Rib, 2010
    Oil on canvas

  • 06 /10

    Lui Xiadong. Jincheng Airport, 2010
    Oil on canvas

  • 07 /10

    Lui Wei, New production, preparatory drawings, 2015
    Working in a variety of mediums--from painting to video--Lui emphasizes outlandish, visceral, and satirical elements.

  • 08 /10

    Lui Wei, Purple Air, 2014
    Painting

  • 09 /10

    Cao Fei, RMB CITY second life city planning, 2007 Video
    Tackling subjects as diverse as a Chinese factory and the virtual world of "Second Life," Cao's short poetic films explore the space between reality and the dream world, and the discontent and disillusionment of China’s younger generation.

  • 10 /10

    CAO FEI. Live in RMB City, 2009 Video

China's contemporary art scene is booming. Recent economic growth (not withstanding this week's stock plunge) has led to greater investment in the arts—China's now the world's second largest art market. That, in turn, has given younger and emerging artists previously overshadowed by the country's big art stars a formidable platform with gallerists and museums.

This month Foundation Louis Vuitton is showcasing some of the leading Chinese mainland artists with a blockbuster show: Bentu, Chinese artists in a time of turbulence and transformation.

The stars of the Chinese contemporary art scene defy easy categorization; featuring a mix of styles, genres, and ages, the foundation's selection is as diverse as the country's billion-strong population. Though many of their works are still political, these artists are tackling different themes than the artists before them, who were profoundly influenced by social unrest like the events of Tiananmen Square. Many of the artists in the show explore tensions that reflect the transition from that period of their history to today—between Eastern and Western values, tradition and technology, and communism and capitalism.

Here, we've compiled the five contemporary Chinese artist we're most excited to watch in 2016.

The Coloured Sky : New Women II, 2014©Yang Fudong, 2015. Photo: Aurélien Mole

Yang Fudong
Considered one of the brightest young stars in cinematography and photography, Yang is known for his poetic, dreamlike films and surrealistic photographs. He's best known for his "Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest," a series of silent, black-and-white films that follow a group of young people through fantastical scenes.

Physique of consciousness, 2011Xu Zhen/MadeIn Company

Xu Zhen
Installation, video, and performance artist Xu is notorious for his critique of both politics and the art world. He works individually and through his collective practice MadeIn Company and is best known for The Starving of Sudan, a live installation featuring an African toddler and a mechanized vulture.

Jincheng Airport, 2010Courtesy of the artist

Liu Xiaodong
Known for his strong brushwork and bold colors, Liu paints intimate portraits from snapshots of friends, family, and everyday life. He's strongly influenced by the paintings of Lucien Freud.

Purple Air, 2014Courtesy Liu Wei Studio

Liu Wei
Working in a variety of mediums—from painting to video—Liu emphasizes outlandish, visceral, and satirical elements. He's best known for Indigestion II, a monumental, person-sized sculpture of a pile of poop.

Live in RMB City, 2009© Cao Fei, 2015/Courtesy of the artist and Vitamin Creative Space, Guangzhou

Cao Fei
Tackling subjects as diverse as a Chinese factory and the virtual world of "Second Life," Cao's short poetic films explore the space between reality and the dream world, and the discontent and disillusionment of China’s younger generation.

Slideshow Credits: 01 / ©Yang Fudong, 2015 Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, ACMI Melbourne and Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tamaki Photo : Aurélien Mole; 03 / Photo: Thomas Fuesser; 04 / Xu Zhen / MadeIn Company; 05 / LIU XIADONG; 06 / LIU XIADONG; 07 / Courtesy Liu Wei Studio; 08 / Courtesy Liu Wei Studio; 09 / © Cao Fei, 2015 Courtesy of the artist and Vitamin Creative Space, Guangzhou; 10 / © Cao Fei, 2015 Courtesy of the artist and Vitamin Creative Space, Guangzhou;

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