Old Masters Academy

Art Movements: Cynical realism

Cynical realism

Fang Lijun

Fang Lijun

Cynical realism is a contemporary movement in Chinese art, especially in the form of painting, that began in the 1990s. Beginning in Beijing, it has become the most popular Chinesecontemporary art movement in mainland China. It arose through the pursuit of individual expression by Chinese artists that broke away from the collective mindset that existed since theCultural Revolution. The major themes tend to focus on socio-political issues and events since Revolutionary China (1911) to the present. These include having a, usually humorous and post-ironic, take on a realist perspective and interpretation of transition that Chinese society has been through, from the advent of Communism to today’s industrialization andmodernization.

Artists associated with Cynical Realism include Fang Lijun, Liu Wei, and Yue Minjun.

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