Answer to Question #161184 in History for Wilson Huang

Question #161184

How did artist Zhong Biao respond to the changing urban culture of China?

Expert's answer

As a sensitive artist, Zhong Biao uses visuals that Chinese communities are familiar with so as to achieve his archaeological work. As an artist, he utilizes different paradoxical scenes to express himself. Although his initial works seemed to juxtapose the cultural image of the Chinese society, his upcoming works were to be linked with more transformations. He used imagination to add color to old images so that they cannot be deprived of any texture (Zheng, 2019). According to him, although people lose color, the accessories and dresses that they wear daily, which represent that period, will stay on.

As the color fades away, the limit between memory and reality will be ruined and illusions will begin. Such illusions will be founded on memory and cultural accumulation rather than on pure biological sensations as in the case of surrealism. The surrealist style is just a reflection of the personality crisis people experienced during rapid industrialization (Feng, 2019). According to Zhang Biao, his works were to initiate a modern surrealist style that symbolizes a person’s doubt about his imaginations or knowledge.

The unique work style of Zhang Bias was to show that his cultural attitude and approach was entirely different.  The primary objective of the previous artists was to put across their attitudes through criticizing ideologies and commercial culture. According to him, criticism is meaningless unless its source is provided to illustrate how change comes about (Zheng, 2019).  Behind his approach to Chinese mass culture and pop culture, people could find new cultural attitudes. He further explains that his work cannot be comparable to other artists who mix real pop culture with their artwork under the pretext of perceptions or utilizes ancient handcraft techniques to criticize pop culture in large quantities (Feng, 2019). Artwork founded on personal production and handcraft cannot compete for actual mass media culture. Through the incompleteness of images and the creation of illusions, he explains that the relationship that exists between mass culture and art itself is what controls them.


Feng, X. (2019). Analysis On Oil Painting Creation from Perspective. Francis Academic Press, UK

Zheng, B. (2019). Wang, Meiqin. Urbanization and Contemporary Chinese Art. New York: Routledge, 2016. ISBN: 9781138899193. 264pp. $49.95 (paperback). Frontiers of Literary Studies in China, 13(1), 164-167.

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