b.1985, Anshan, Anhui. Lives and works in Beijing

An award-winning printmaking student at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Li Jun says he made the Eyes Right series (2012–13) as an “image of the new generation” in China, using image-editing software to modify digital photos he took himself or found online, then converting the pictures to woodblock prints. The faces he chose “reminded me of the kinds of people I see every day”, he says. “On the street or in the metro, you often see people with no expression. Pressure and stress must have made them lose interest in life and stop caring about other people.” His title—a routine command in the militaristic culture of Chinese schools—reflects the rules people must submit to when they “grow up, give up our freedom and conform to the demands of society”. To reflect the resulting losses of life and heart, Li Jun made his subjects as blind and battered as Roman statues, colouring them grey to “look like stone” and “show the process of aging”.

Close Menu