Pace London is delighted to present an exhibition
of new paintings by the Chinese artist Li
Songsong from 19 September to 9 November
2013, at 6 Burlington Gardens. This is the first
solo-exhibition by the artist in London.
The show provides a comprehensive view of Li
Songsong’s art and focuses on the essence of
the artist’s technique and painting process. The
works on view embody the rapid social-cultural
transformation and the ever-changing reality of
These works portray historical figures and events
that play part in the Chinese collective consciousness
and while at times political in content,
the emphasis is not on political issues. The political
connotation in Li Songsong’s art resists any
superficial interpretation awaiting the subjective
viewpoint of its audience, hiding deeply beneath
the dense surface of the painting. Politics has
become China’s everyday experience and common
environment and Li Songsong’s art can be
seen as a reflection of this specific reality.
Beginning with a found image sourced from the media such as newspapers, magazines, or the internet,
Li Songsong reconstructs it square by square building layers of paint. This thick application of
paint pushes the work to abstraction, and alters the significance of the image the artist has appropriated
at this stage. This technique can be viewed as a reflection of the artist’s attitude towards realism.
By working on specific units of the canvas rather than on the whole composition, the artist keeps a
distance from the visible story rather focusing on specific details that make the image. The intention
of these works is not to provide an easy explanation through narration, but to represent the essence,
ambiguities, and changes to historical memory as time continues.
“Everyone knows the story. The important thing is the way that you tell it. The way depends on your
attitude, and attitude changes with time. As society changes, attitude changes accordingly.” Li Songsong, July 2013.
Highlights of the exhibition include It’s a Pity You Aren’t Interested in Anything Else, a painting that
revives one of Calvin Klein’s advertising images, one prevalent in China. The popularity of western
fashion labels in China testifies to the penetration of ideologies and visions of the world that were once
A catalogue featuring two essays by the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, and the art critic and essayist Demetrio
Paparoni will accompany the exhibition.