East meets West in Wang Guangyi’s new Dubai exhibition

Dubai’s Opera Gallery hosts the first ever UAE exhibition of the Chinese artist’s politically motivated works.

EDGAR staff November 4, 2015

Politics and art are two fields that often mix, with the likes of Ron English and Gerard Rancinan just a couple of notable examples of artists who like to have their say on societal issues through their work.

Another such artist is Wang Guangyi, whose Great Criticism series has found fame around the world for its witty use of propaganda images of the Chinese Cultural Revolution combined with the contemporary logos of large international companies.

Dually affected by both Chinese and Western influences – from his experiences in Maoist China to his penchant for the work of German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and American author Jack London – Guangyi’s work is a commentary on the comparison between commercial advertising and the kind of political propaganda used in China under Chairman Mao. 

Big-name companies including Coca-Cola, Google, Gillette, Versace and Dior have all featured in Guangyi’s work, and this year the artist has even turned his attention to UAE-based companies Jumeirah and Emirates.

Details: Great Criticism by Wang Guangyi and curated by Henry Perier opens on November 12 at Opera Gallery in DIFC. Visit operagallery.com