Often restricted to a black and white palette, Xiaogang’s portraits translate the language of photography into paint. Drawing from the generic quality of formal photo studio poses and greyscale hues, Xiaogang’s figures are nameless and timeless: a series of individual histories represented within the strict confines of formula. In paintings such as Comrade, the occasional splotches of colour which interrupt his images create aberrant demarcations, reminiscent of birth marks, aged film, social stigma, or a lingering sense of the sitter’s self assertion.

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