‘ This work about wild life is a reflection on the existence of humans and the environment. Wild lives fighting and killing each other in a cement forest send a signal to us that the way the animals live will become the fate humans have to face too.’

Born 1961, Hangzhou. Lives and works in Hangzhou.

As a founding member of the ‘Pond Society’, a radical artist group operating in Hangzhou in the 1980s, Song Ling was not interested in the narrative paintings dramatising the lives of rural people that were popular at that time. Together with peers Zhang Peili and Geng Jianyi he proposed a different kind of art: he began to paint animals in a coolly realistic manner, symbolising people living under unbearable political pressure. Song came to Australia after Tiananmen in 1989: he lived and worked in Melbourne for almost 30 years before returning to China in 2017. Back in Hangzhou, he became aware of a new spirit of avarice and ambition infecting all levels of society. Wildlife 2 once again uses animal imagery to represent people confined in unnatural environments. In an Escher-like space of endlessly receding concrete beams and columns, animals hunt and are hunted. Using up to 30 layers of subtle ink wash to create his beautifully rendered ‘jungle’, Song Ling asks us to consider whether we are predator or prey in this brave new world.

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