Wang Lin is one of the most notable artists on the emerging Chinese Contemporary art scene there, whose performance pieces and photographic series that document his work are receiving critical acclaim amongst both Museums and Collectors alike. This work is from an edition of 8 and has never been framed.
This visually arresting photograph is part of a larger series titled "Gobi 1 KM" (2009) that documents the artist in midst of his larger performance piece, in which he has traversed 1 kilometer of the Gobi desert and hand-painted a line of red pigment paint across its surface. The beginning and end of this red line are not visible. The artist's image is take from an aerial perspective and shows him laying totally nude upon the line, his arms and legs splayed out, a visual connection to Leonardo Da Vinci's famous work "Vitruvian Man" often referred to as "The Proportions of Man". This position underscores the artist's desire to connect himself to humanity but also be recognized socially and culturally as his own person. The red line, of course, had many meanings here--the color of Communist China, as well as the artist's generational blood line, his heritage and a nod to centuries of Chinese history, art, tradition. By placing himself nude directly upon the line, the artist visually links himself to the long. linear history of China, and also demands that he is recognized as an individual.
The use of the artist's own body as canvas first appeared amongst Chinese Avant Garde artists such as Zhang Dali and Zhang Huan. The younger generation of Chinese performance-based artists, to which Wang Lin belongs, openly use their own body as canvas and as a vehicle to deal with conflicting desires to be recognized as an individual aware of their own self-identity, as well as to the pride felt in the traditional culture and heritage of China itself. The artist lives and works in Beijing, China.