“When thinking of art and culture, Chinese artists are confronted with two contexts and histories, both indigenous and Western.”
Born 1973 and 1974, Nantong, Jiangsu
Raised during the “opening up” of the late 1980s, Zhu Yiqing and Xue Yongjun take a far greater interest in political issues than most younger artists do. Looking for a medium to express the collision between Chinese culture and the West, they chose the traditional Chinese seal, or chop. This serves as a simple colour stamp, a mark of social status, and a counterpart of the pixels on a computer screen. In reconstructing familiar images, from national flags to the Mona Lisa, with thousands of specially carved and individually placed chop stamps, the artists seek “to express the process of cultural collision, shatter and melting”. The rippling banners of Made in China—Chinese Flag and Made in China—American Flag (2009) are made up of brand logos. In mocking Chinese citizens’ lust for Americana via the flags of both China and the US, the artists suggest that the two cultures are drawing closer together.