Fang Lijun (Chinese, b.1963) is a painter and printmaker associated with the Cynical Realist movement, and best known for his hyper-realistic paintings that criticize contemporary cultural values in China. Born in Handan, Hebei province, Fang studied printmaking at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, where he was trained in the Socialist Realist style promoted during the Cultural Revolution. As part of the Cynical Realist movement, Fang rejected the political subject matter of Socialist Realism, but his work has retained the technical skill and realistic style of his training. He incorporates imagery from pop culture, folk art, and traditional Chinese painting, and his work often features bald, aggressive-looking figures. His painting 30th Mary (2006) is characteristic of his humor and cynicism; the work depicts bald figures wearing colorful school uniforms, floating in a tunnel of clouds, in a composition that evokes European religious paintings. Fang has also worked in the traditional practice of woodblock printing, putting together several scrolls to create large-scale prints. In all of his work, he examines the role of individual creativity in the oppressive cultural environment of modern China. He has held solo exhibitions at at the China Art Museum in Beijing, the Today Art Museum in Beijing, and the Staatliche Museen in Berlin. He lives and works in Beijing.

Timeline

1963
Born in Handan, Hebei Province, China
1972–1980
Railroad School, Handan, Hebei province
1980–1983
Hebei Light Industry College, Ceramic Art Studies
1985–1989
Graduate at Print Dept. the Central Institute of Fine Arts, Beijing

Exhibitions

2011
From Symbols to Analysis, Xi’an Museum, Xi’an, China
Fang Lijun Document into University, Southwest Jiaotong School of Art and Communication, China,Jakarta, Indonesia
2010
Fang Lijun_An Accidental Myth, Tank Loft * Chongqing Contemporary Art Center, Chongqing, China
Fang Lijun, Art Museum of Shanxi University, Taiyuan, China
Fang Lijun, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China
2009
Fang Lijun: Thread of Time, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China
Fang Lijun, Sea and Sky, Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Germany
Living Like a Wild Dog 1993-2008 Fang Lijun’s Archive, Taipei Fine Art Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
Fang Lijun, Arario New York, New York, U.S.A
2008
Chinese Painting: Zhang Xiaogang, Fang Lijun and Feng Mengbo, The Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, Czech
the Reality: Chinese Contemporary Art, National Art Museum of China - NAMOC, Beijing, China
Out of Shape: Stylistic Distoritions of the HUman Form in Art, The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Poughkeepsie,NY
China macht Druck. Zeitgenossische Chinesische Druckgrafik, Stadtische Galerie Bietigheim - Bissingen, Bietigheim - Bissingen
2007
Chinese Relativity: Part 2, Stefan Stux Gallery, New York City, NY
China - Facing Reality, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig - MUMOK, Vienna
FANG LIJUN: PLACES TO PLACES TO PLACES, Alexander Ochs Galleries Berlin / Beijing, Berlin
2006
A Point In Time-In Wuhan, Fine Arts Literature, Wuhan City Fine Arts Literature Art Center
Change, Taibei Museum, Taibei City
Mahjong, Kunsthalle Hamburg, Germany; Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain
Kupferstichkabinett Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Germany (solo)
Life is Now, Galeri Nasional, Jakarta, Indonesia (solo)
Red, Diya Art, Tainan City
“Fang Lijun: Today,” Today Art Museum Beijing, China (solo)
2005
National Galerie / China Art Museum, Beijing, China (solo)
Art Cologne, Germany
Kinderszenen - Child's Play, Rohbaukunst, Groß Leuthen Berlin - Brandenburg, Germany
Mahjong, Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland
New Work / New Aquisitions, MoMa New York, USA
Clues, WHITE SPACE BEIJING , Beijing, China
Sammlung Hoffmann Berlin, Präsentation 2006/2007, Germany
ART FORUM Berlin 2005, Berlin, Germany
Always To The Front-China Contemporary Art, Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei National University of the Arts, Taipei, Taiwan
China Contemporary Art, Nanjing Museum, Nanjing China
2004
FANG LIJUN | LEBEN IST JETZT, ALEXANDER OCHS GALLERIES BERLIN | BEIJING, Berlin, Germany (solo)
2002
Fang Lijun, Between Beijing & Dali, Woodcuts & Paintings 1989 - 2002, Ludwig Forum für InternationaleKunst Aachen, Germany (solo)
2001
Fang Lijun, New Woodcuts & Paintings, Asian Fine Arts Berlin
Prüss + Ochs Gallery Germany
2000
Visage: Painting & the Human Face in 20th Century Art, The National Musuem of Western Art Tokyo, Japan
Between, Uprive Residence Kunming, Yunan
The Collection of Shang Hai Art Museum Shang Hai
Art Basel, Switzerland, Max Protetch, NYC, USA
Art Cologne, Asian Fine Arts, Berlin, Prüss+Ochs Gallery
Inside Out, Traveled New York, NY; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA
1999
d'APERTutto, 48th Venice Biennale Venice, Italy
Open Channels, Dong Yu Museum of Fine Arts Shenyang, China
Fanf Lijun, Max Protetch Gallery New York, NY
From Beijing to Amsterdam and Back, Stedelijk Museum / Galerie Serieuse Zaken Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Black & White, Chinese Contemporary London, England
5000 +10, Chinese Contemporary (London) Bilbao, Spain
1997
CHINA!, Kunstmuseum Bonn (traveling to Vienna, Copenhagen, & Warsaw)
1996
Beijing/No Soap Opera?, Munich, Germany
Fang Lijun, Galerie Bellefroid Paris, France
Fang Lijun, Galerie Serieuse Zaken Amsterdam, the Netherlands
1995
Fang Lijun, Galerie Bellefroid Paris, France

Literature

2007
China Art Book. Uta Grosenick / Caspar Schübbe (Ed.), 680 pages, approx. 850 images, trilingual: Engl./Ger./Chin., Dumont Buchverlag, Cologne 2007. www.chinaartbook.de