In the minds of many curators and collectors today, Chinese art of the 1990s is synonymous with kitsch Cultural Revolution iconography, and large-scale paintings and sculpture. However the 1990s were also a time of experimentation for a handful of artists uninterested in these market trends. Frustrated with the limitations of traditional media, they worked with video and installation as a means to extend their art practices and to raise issues that would challenge their audiences.
Wang Gongxin was one such pioneer and, along with his friend and colleague Zhang Peili, is now considered one of the granddaddies of new media art in China. Wang and Zhang were both headline acts in the exhibition 幕Mu:Screen, Three Generations of Contemporary Video Art which ran at UTS Gallery in June this year, curated by Marie Terrieux.