Qi Zhilong 1992-2009
Text by Li Xianting, Jim Supangkat.
Chinese artist Qi Zhilong's career caught fire in the early 1990s, with the kitsch canvases of his Consumer Icons series, but the closely-cropped paintings of girls in military uniforms that he began in 1995, and which are featured in this volume, established him as an early proponent of Political Pop, and eventually as one of the most renowned artists in China. Qi's girls are attractive, self-confident, and very contemporary-looking, occasionally striking the carefree poses of fashion models. Qi recalls China's recent revolutionary past, an era that celebrated youths in military clothing, to portray a China in transition through nuanced shifts in the codes of dress and expression. One such painting graced the cover of Mahjong, a catalogue of the comprehensive Chinese Contemporary Art collection of Swiss collector Uli Sigg, announcing Qi as a representative of a new direction in Chinese art.