15 Oct 2023  14 Apr 2024

Gallery 11, ground floor

Admission is FREE

This exhibition celebrated more than 100 artworks by the contemporary Chinese artist Fang Lijun, on loan from his studios in Beijing and Jingdezhen and from private collections. It showcased Fang's paintings and drawings, and also ceramics produced in the last five years.

Fang Lijun was one of the leading protagonists of the early 1990s Cynical Realist movement, a major art movement in China post-1989. His works captured the disillusionment of his generation and reflected the feeling of helplessness in Chinese society in the early 1990s.

Some of these seminal paintings he became famous for – the large anonymous, shaven heads and blank faces – were in our exhibition, alongside early pencil drawings from his student days and newer ink paintings and a series of intriguing porcelain pieces.

Colourful painting showing shaven men with torsos in fleshy pink and blue sky background, 90x120cmm by Chinese artist Fang Lijun, made in 1991-1992

'Oil Painting No 4', Fang Lijun, oil on canvas, 1991-1992 © Fang Lijun studio

Woodcut in black and white showing criss-cross patterns and a profile of a head emerging with hands over the face, by Fang Lijun, 1998, 122cm by 82cm, 1998

'1998.11.2' Woodcut, Fang Lijun, 1998 © Fang Lijun studio

Colour-glazed porcelain showing a man's furrowed face in bright colours by Fang Lijun, 2023

'2023.5.6' Colour-glazed porcelain, Fang Lijun, 2023 © Fang Lijun studio

Untitled white porcelain sculpture by artist Fang Lijun, showing peeling bricks enclosing a head inside, 51cmx49cmx39cm, 2023

'2023' Porcelain, Fang Lijun, 2023 © Fang Lijun studio


For the last ten years, Fang has been experimenting with porcelain and its fragile qualities. Supported on organic matrixes that burn away in the kiln, the delicate porcelain structures that remain represent precariousness itself. The exhibition will show small test pieces alongside medium and large-scale work, some of which embed — again — faces. These small porcelain faces are, like those in his big early paintings, anonymous and distanced.

The human head or face, the image that established Fang Lijun’s success, remains a key element in his art. 

In an additional display in the Later China gallery, Gallery 38, one wall will showed a series of porcelain plaques decorated with portraits in colour.

Exhibition supported by:

Clouds Intelligence

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Triumph Art Gallery, Beijing

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Brand support:

LuZhou Laojiao, Guojiao 1573

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