Category Archives: Artists

Retreating to a Neverland of Art

Zhao Wei painted his first wall of graffiti at the age of four. When other kids were saying they wanted to be scientists, he was well on his way to the world of art. A bout of childhood bullying inspired Zhao to develop his...


Darkness in the ‘Ashes of History’

Tragedy, cruelty, pain are the artistic motifs of 29-year-old Shi Weigeng. Since his graduation from the China Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2009, Shi has devoted himself to exploring his inner world through gloomy, depressed oil paintings. Shi calls himself a blue man–...


Dreaming Like a Child

For some people, time stops early. Liu Shudi, a young artist who received her master’s degree from Sichuan Fine Arts Institute last year, says hers is stuck in the rebellious era of adolescence. “I resonate with vintage art. I loved to explore old homes...


Exploring the Night Space Within

Cang Jian, the penname of artist and architect Qin Yi, consists of the characters for “vastness” and “space” – a reference to one unforgettable scene from his childhood. “It was a cloudy day in north China. Black clouds floated over the vast wilderness. Everything...


Seeking Art in Spirituality

Illustrator Su Nan’s work worships natural power and the energy that connects man with the universe. During the last decade, she has lent her design sense to top luxury brands, such as Chanel, Tiffany & Co. and Cartier. Better known by her pseudonym Nanguazi...


Embracing the Art of ‘Kuso’

Those who dwell in the Internet’s darker corners might recognize a certain kinship between Cui Jun’s artwork and kuso culture, a form of extreme camp that finds magic in things that are so bad they’re good. As a self-described shut-in, Cui spends months at...


Soaring Phoenix from Ancient China

Chinese artists take much of their inspiration from folklore and myth, and Sun Ke is no exception. The subject of most of her paintings is the phoenix, the king of birds in Chinese culture. Sun’s love for the majestic phoenix has its origins in...


Philosophical Art World Insipred by Six Words

“If I had to pick one work that represents me, I guess it would be Cute Bear and the Secret Garden. I feel like I’m still a child deep inside my heart,” says Shi Mohan, a 33-year-old female artist from Shenyang, Liaoning province. For...


Untamed Dreams

Some painters choose to paint because they love it. The 24-year-old artist Hao Shuaiqi paints because he has to. Hao has relied on painting to escape loneliness since the age of two. His paintings depict a surreal universe. “I have to act differently on...


A Hometown on Canvas

There’s no shortage of contemporary artists painting sweeping pastoral scenes of China. But Hu Yang has a sharper focus: the life of his 70-year-old grandmother who lives in a small village in Shangqiu, Henan province. Hu said his interest in painting stems from childhood....