Li Yousong: Li Yousong

2008. 12. 27-02. 15

Li Yousong is a peculiar artist in China’s contemporary art scene. For years, Li has been deeply enthralled by the old photos taken in China's Great Cultural Revolution, and he transfers his understanding into a strong sense of form which resembles that of the Baroque Art in his paintings. An artist born in the late 1960s, Li and his generation are experiencing drastic social and economic changes that have taken place in China during the past decades. The scenes of the Great Cultural Revolution in Li’s paintings are full of a vigorous, convoluting, and dynamic passion, a fantasy about a “Utopian Socialism”. That period, though hollow in its content, was a highly idealized one in China’s socialist history, creating its own aesthetics about form. There is an exalted collective idealism conveyed in Li’s paintings, and in this sense, they bears similarity to the Baroque art. Perhaps we can call the socialist scenes in Li’s paintings “Baroque socialism”—passionate, dynamic and active. Such passion for ideal has been fading away from contemporary society. The over-affluent life is eating up the spiritual part in people and wearing out their passion for sublimity. It’s a hidden trouble in China’s development of modernity, and a problem that our society has to address to.

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