As one of the leaders of the Chinese Conceptual Movement in 1980s, Wu Shanzhaun was the first artist in China to incorporate textual pop references into his work. Wu’s pivotal 1986 installation, Red Humour International, laid the foundation for his highly idiosyncratic and sophisticated approach to painting, which forgoes image in favour of political jingoism, religious scripture, and advertising slogans.

Wu’s canvases appear as a combination of graffiti and expressionism. Rendered with painterly spontaneity, words, symbols, and diagrams battle for space in a virtual terrain between conveyed meaning and pictorial abstraction. Through the act of artistic negotiation, Wu’s texts become dislocated from their original context and stripped of their cultural signification. Reformed and repackaged as sumptuous fields of colour and texture, his mass media dictates are purified as empty lexicons for new usage and contemplation.

Wu’s unique process of painting as writing is exemplified in his Today No Water series. Conceived as a graphic novel, each canvas is a chapter of a continuous stream of consciousness narrative. These works don’t tell a story per se, but rather present a visual tension between fragmented phrases and images, culminating in dizzying compositions that map out free-style associations of ideas, references, and symbols.

0
    0
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop

    Thank you for your enquiry!

    Your message was sent and one of our Admin team will respond as soon as possible.

    If you have an urgent question, please call our front desk on 020 7811 3070.

    For more information on how we store and use your data please view our privacy policy here. You can unsubscribe from our newsletters at any time by clicking on the links below the emails we send you.

    Essential Information Before Your Visit:
    Click Plan Your Visit for full information on upcoming closures.

    Register for email updates
    Be the first to hear about the latest Saatchi Gallery exhibitions, events, offers and news