Shi Lifeng 石立峰
Born 1968 in Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province, Shi Lifeng's paintings confront the structure of China’s political leadership and the allocation of power in Chinese society. His work bears traces of both the Socialist Realism style (Apture link to Socialist Realism) mandated by the government during the Cultural Revolution as well as the expressive individualism adopted by Chinese contemporary artists in order to reclaim the power of the ‘individual’ in a communist society. In 2008, the rock band Guns N’ Roses used one of his iconic paintings as the cover of their long anticipated album "Democracy in China".
1991, Hebei Normal University, Hebei Province, China
Unlike the propaganda posters depicting strong, organized workers promoted by the Chinese government during the tumultuous years of the Cultural Revolution, the miniature men in Shi Lifeng’s paintings appear helpless, much like a disorganized troop of toy soldiers. Unlike a battlefield, however, these toy soldier are placed on top of immense symbols of leadership – enveloping hands, the Chinese Red Star, limitless ladders, etc. – to which each man must cling to in order to survive. The alternative for these figures? To let go and tumble into an abyss, which can be interpreted either as an escape from the regime or guaranteed death. That Shi Lifeng uses red, the symbolic color of China, emphasizes his concern with the political state.
2010 Shi Lifeng Solo Exhibition, Yang Gallery, Singapore 2008 Playful dimension, Art+Shanghai Stockholm Art Fair, Stockholm, Sweden Ling Factory Art Centre Regulations Exhibition, Ling Factory Art Centre, Beijing 2007 Scope Basel, Basel, Swiss Going Out of Songzhuang,Beijing, Shanghai,Shenyang 8 Chinese Contemporary Artists Exhibition, Copenhagen, Denmark Ink gallery Winter Group Exhibition, Ink gallery, Beijing New Femeal, London, England Songzhuang Art Festival, Beiijng Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai 2006 Touch-Contemporary Shelf Painting of 25 Artists, Tour Exhibition, Beijing Contemporary Art Museum, Beijing Hangzhou Yannan Art Organizition, HangZhou, Shanghai The Group Exhibition of Beijing Artists, Guang Zhou AAF Chinese Contemporary Arts, Jijie Gallery, Beijing 3rd Humanities Olympic Fine Arts, Beijing 1st Multimedia Arts, Songzhuang, Beijing Pressure and Power of a Fugacious Era, Songzhuang Artists Courtyard, Beijing Arts in Qianshao, Qianshao Gallery, Beijing Zhiqinggo Gallery Opening, Zhiqinggo Gallery, Beijing United Artists, Female Artists Center, Beijing Shut up,Sun Gallery,Beijing 2006 Songzhuang Artists Group exhibition, Songzhuang, Beijing Impression & Contry document, Shanghai 2005 Songzhuang Ring, Songzhang Artists Gallery,Beijng Songzhuang Road, Beijing, China 2004 China Contemporary, Qianjing Gallery, Beijing Desolate City Vanguard Photography, the Netherlands 2003 China Contemporary, Mainland Gallery, Beijing What the Important Is, Minchegang of Wangfujing, Beijing The 1st Young Artists Arts Exhibition, Jiri Arts Museum, Beijing United Exhibition of 21 Contemporary Artists, Hilton Guanjin Gallery, Beijing Art Works Auction, Tokyo Arts Project Gallery, Beijing TAM Picture Exhibition, Paris, France 2002 China Contemporary Arts, Yanhuang Art Museum, Beijing 2001 Gather At Desenmen - China Avant Garde Arts, Yishen Gallery, Beijing 2000 Duyu Space Avant Garde Photography, Beijing Odeon, Beijin