Shi Xinning Exhibited at The Saatchi Gallery

Shi Xinning
Yalta No.2


Oil on canvas

210 x 317 cm
Trained in China, Shi Xinning’s paintings are influenced by both social realism and European styles. Using the authoritative qualities of both, Shi embarks on history painting with a twist. Taking his imagery from iconic press photos, Shi’s canvases faithfully represent the world as we know it: the Yalta Conference in familiar 40s sepia tone, the Queen Mum in carriage emblazoned in newspaper black and white. It’s only on second glance that Shi’s alterations become evident. Nestled between Churchill and FDR and conversing happily with royalty, Mao takes his place amongst the great leaders of the 20th century.

In China-fying history, Shi investigates dynamics of both the west’s Eurocentric, and China’s isolationist past world views. Humorously illustrating the Chairman’s import and omnipresence in 20th c Chinese society Shi’s insertion of Mao into the fabric of western collective conscience seems entirely plausible. Infusing the totems of propaganda currency with a sense of normality and humility, Shi re-authors the most cherished moments of collective memory with a ‘Forrest Gump’ effect, creating a specious mythology based in Hollywood schmaltz and unabashed optimism.
Shi Xinning
Royal Coach


Oil on canvas

210 x 317 cm
Shi Xinning
A Holiday in Venice - At the Balcony of Ms. Guggenheim


Oil on canvas

210 x 272 cm
Xinning’s alternative Mao biography operates as a free-for-all send up of official versions of history; his subjects are carefully chosen for their collision course narratives and gossipy innuendo. Beneath Xinning’s paintings lies the intriguing proposition: how differently things might have turned out if only a little thing like ideology didn’t get in the way. In A Holiday in Venice – At the Balcony of Ms. Guggenheim, a Cheshire-ish Chairman lounges linen-clad and carefree, having possibly met his match in the famous art collector; he an aspiring poet and calligrapher, she a respected patron, both figures notorious for their libidinous antics…
Shi Xinning
Mao and McCarthy


Oil on canvas

192 x 313 cm
In Mao and McCarthy, Xinning’s feigned documentation makes hilarious political commentary. Painted on grand-scale, as if blown up from the pages of Life magazine, the scene unfolds like an expose of over-looked evidence pointing out a most embarrassing gaff: all cameras and eyes on the accused, no one seems to recognise the real communists in the room (though who better to sit on the House Committee on Un-American Activities?) Xinning recreates this lost moment with the veritas of mass media authority, his high contrast palette and inky brushwork replicating the tones and texture of cold war journalism with all its greasy smudgy truth.

Other artists in

Zhang Dali    Zeng Fanzhi    Wang Guangyi    Zheng Guogu    Zhang Haiying    Zhang Hongtu    Zhang Huan    Qiu Jie    Xiang Jing    Shi Jinsong    Fang Lijun    Yue Minjun    Li Qing    Wu Shanzhuan    Shen Shaomin    Li Songsong    Zhan Wang    Liu Wei    Zhang Xiaogang    Zhang Xiaotao    Cang Xin    Shi Xinning    Li Yan    Bai Yiluo    Zhang Yuan    Sun Yuan & Peng Yu    Yin Zhaohui    Feng Zhengjie

Shi Xinning's Biography

Shi Xinning
Born in Liaoning Province, China

Lives and works in Beijing


Fake Reality, Beijing, China


The Road Map of Painting, Beijing, China
The Other Shore of This Shore, Pingyao, China
Mahjong, Kunstmuseum, Bern, Switzerland
China Contemporary Painting, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna, Bologna, Italy

Landscapes, Shanghai Gallery of Art, Shanghai, China
New Perspectives in Chinese Painting, Marella Art Gallery, Milan, Italy
China’s Photographic Painting, China Art Seasons Gallery, Beijing, China

Moyemode, Moyemobude, 798 Art Zone, Beijing, China
China Art Now, Marella Art Gallery, Milan, Italy

Contemporary Art Exhibition, Deduct Fabricate Copy, Beijing, China

Contemporary Art Show "Out-of-control", Beijing, China

Contemporary Art Exhibition, "In the City- Individuality", Beijing, China