Carnival of the Absurd

“Wu Junyong: The End of the Rainbow.” 

IFA Gallery ( 621 Changde Lu by Wuding Lu, Shanghai). Sept 9 – Nov 1, 2010.

Although we’ve often seen Wu Junyong’s work as derivative of the more famous Tang Maohong, he succeeds in this exhibition at IFA to diversify himself as an artist exploring power in all its various permutations. His cast of characters acts out a transformation from victimization to empowerment and then to tyranny, finally landing themselves back into absurdity.

While we’re not great fans of his grotesque and somewhat cynical realist figurative drawings and paintings, this show blends a variety of mediums, including sculpture, paper cut and animation, and produces a mature body of work which develops the theme on a variety of different levels. His two animations “Flowers of Chaos” (2009) and “Clouds Nightmare” (2010) are must-sees for the fall art season. Take time to revel in their hypnotic parade of images.

Portrait of a totalitarian: adorned with a head-dress of lovely snakelike tentacles, tattered flags and obscure objects such as chopsticks and cranes. Wu Junyong combines images of state power and evil often with puppets and human hands speaking to issues of manipulation.

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