Sunday, 21 November 2010

Ambiguous, Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide

Ambiguous Chonggang Du at Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide, Australia 3-21 November 2010

We are living in a 'wrapped society', a society that is bizarre and full of obscurities. This modern life, with its emphasis on materiality and commerciality, stimulates and lures the public to blindly consume and be entertained - producing a social environment that lacks intellectual and rational life.

How did we get here? What kind of history helped from our present state? To reflect on the present does not mean going back to a world of pure spiritual emptiness but a need for a rational understanding of history and the relation of reality to ourselves, and if we are to exit this wrongful path we need to understand and correct ourselves.

The works in this show are composed of paintings from recent series and my constant explorations in the issues of man and nature, history and reality, religion and civilization, the cultural contrasts and fusions of the East and West, and social psychology of contradiction.

 Sister No.1, 2010, 137.2 x 137.2cm, oil on linen

The picture comes from internet, it shows women in early 20th century China.  The pictures haven been altered and enhanced to recreate a very isolated feeling, a world that's self-admired, traditional, and closed, just like China at the time.

Three inch golden lotus, 2010, 111.8 x 91.4cm, oil on canvas

Bound feet were considered intensely erotic.  Qing Dynasty sex manuals listed forty-eight different ways of playing with women's bound feet.  Some men preferred never to see a woman's bound feet, so they were always concealed within tiny "lotus shoes".  If you remove the shoes and bindings, the aesthetic feeling will be destroyed for them, the erotic effect was a function of the lotus gait, the tiny steps and swaying walk of a woman whose feet had been bound. 

Wrap up No.2, 2007 - 2010, 121.9 x 91.4 cm, oil on linen

The mass media and public opinions are the tools of decorations and packaging of politics and large groups. To bewitch people, splendid coats and effective words must be involved. And the falseness hides within them. How much of the stories written on the history are true? And how much of them are lies? We do not know. The appearance of small embroidered shoes are pretty and lovable, however, the products wrapped inside are deformed and represent vulgar culture.
Secret, 2007 - 2010, 121.9 x 91.4cm, oil on linen

A pair of embroidered little shoes placed on an opened book; the illustration on that page presents a peeking young maid hiding behind the screen.  Beautifully embroidered shoes suggest sex in the feudal eras, where “male authority” driven society became a tradition. Women did not have rights; they are subordinate characters of marriage and sex. Because of these depressions, they form a devious aesthetic appeal.  The sexual demands of bound feet women in feudal periods became their illusionary world.


  Book Tower, 2007, 121.9 x 91.4cm, oil on linen

© Du Chonggang, 2010

Friday, 12 November 2010

China Obscura, MiFA, Melbourne

China Obscura, MiFA, Melbourne 23/09 - 12/11/2010

Du chonggang, Stamp No. 1, 2009

Du chonggang, Stamp No. 2, 2009

Du chonggang, Stamp No. 3, 2009

Du chonggang, Stamp No. 4, 2009

Du chonggang, Stamp No. 5, 2009

Du chonggang, Stamp No. 6, 2009

Du chonggang, Stamp No. 7, 2009

Du chonggang, Stamp No. 8, 2009

   Du chonggang, Stamp No. 9, 2009

© Du Chonggang 2010

Monday, 1 November 2010

2010 Fletcher Jones art prize, Geelong Gallery

Pose 2010 oil on linen 91.5 x 122.0 (each, diptych) selected in finalist 2010 Fletcher Jones art prize, Geelong Gallery

The painting is divided in to two parts, left and right. The left part is composed of a pair of forbidden shoes and a post card resting on an opened book. In the post card there is a 20th century Chinese girl with forbidden feet leaning on a classical bed, who reads and have immersed herself into imagination.

The painting on the right juxtaposes two books which depict two portraits in different eras, which illustrates different styles of painting in 19th and 20th century, aesthetics of different eras and the development of civilisation.

The portraits of Eastern and Western in different era and style placed together to form a strong contrast, which describes the change in people’s aesthetic ideology and culture differences. The pose of the model shows the trend and concept of that era.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010


   Du Chonggang, Poppy, 2010, 137.2x137.2cm, oil on canvas


© Du Chonggang 2011

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Background, 7 - 31 July 2010, Place Gallery, Melbourne

 Background 7 - 31 July 2010 Place Gallery Melbourne

 Art Guide Australia July/august 2010

Background 2010 video work, 23' 4''

Contemporary China, 2010, 51 x 51cm x 4, oil on linen

Quoted from Andy Warhol’s portrait of Elizabeth Taylor put together with Mao Ze Dong’s portrait to form a face. This quasi Eastern and Western face, with flowers on head and a cigarette made of US dollar in the mouth which hints the mixed body of Western and Eastern culture, and illustrates the corruption and feudal political system with the powerful Western Capitalism economy system, which creates money worship, dictator and moral degenerates.

 Wink, 2010, 51 x 51 cm x 16, oil on linen
The life in a blink is influenced by traditional culture, religion, epoch and fashion, culture background fills lives with individuality. What kind of historical background forms our present individual and present society?

Berlin Wall (Deng Xiao Ping), 2010, 91.5 x 122cm, oil on linen

The Berlin wall was built in 1961 and demolished in 1989. The Berlin wall is a symbol of the division and cold war after the Second World War. The graffiti on Berlin Wall have recorded people’s desire of freedom and the division scar of Germany. The portrait of Den Xiao Ping has been repeatedly put onto the year 1989 page in “Berlin Wall Graffiti” to recall the suppression on defenceless students by the Deng Xiao Ping government in 1989 Beijing.

The Red Torch, 2010, 91.5 x 122cm, oil on linen

By inserting figure of Li Tie Mei of The Red Torch into a page of classical decorated book forms an effect of abruption. The Red Torch was a popular Beijing Opera in Cultural Revolution period. Sarcastically, implication behind the messy and luxurious decorative frame depicts simplicity and revolutionary figure. The chaos and confusion illustrates the current reality.

Modern Lure, 2010, 137. 3 x 137.3 cm, oil on linen
The three Chinese girls on the canvas represent three generations in the past century of China. That a girl leans on western style sofa in the top painting depicts the city life in the mixed culture of the East and West Shanghai during its colony period (1910-1930). The figure in the bottom-left origins from Ballet Bai Mao Girl in 1960s during the Culture Revolution, which represents the overthrowing of exploiting class by the labour army led by Mao Ze Dong, and the liberation of women. The figure in the bottom-right illustrates prostitutes serving in clubs, which represents the money omnipotent in contemporary China. The bottom painting is a Golden lilies’ placed on top of an opened book with an illustration of Western female lesbian from many of the Western paintings. The last century in China is a history of reform and tribulation, together with the introduction of Western culture such as measure of value which conflicts with the traditional Chinese Culture.

Control and been controlled, 2010, 137.3 x137.3cm, oil on linen

Images details:

  1. Mao Ze Dong (a book about Mao Ze Dong)
  2. Red guards shows loyalty to Mao in The Tiananmen Square (image from Internet)
  3. February, 24th 1968, South Vietnamese Army General Loan kills a suspect in public: “Buddha will understand”, he said. Page 976, Chronicle of the 20th Century, Jacques Legrand SA International Publishing, 1990
  4. Hitler and Mussolini (cover of a book)
  5. The European Powers, A.J.P. Taylor, History of the 20th Century Phoebus Publishing, 1968, page 4: European immigrants use chains to transport African slaves
  6. The terrified naked abused Jewish Women under the rule of German Fascists (from television)
  7. Zhao Zi Yang – one of the leaders that against government to use weapon on students – is using microphone to warn students flee Tiananmen Square on the day before June, 4th, 1989. (from television)
  8. The Boer War (South Africa, 1899-1902) A.J.P. Taylor, History of the 20th Century Phoebus Publishing, 1968, Page 15
  9. and 10.            Pope of Catholic and his fans in Sydney, 2008 (images from television)
  10. Marilyn Monroe (image from Internet)

                                           The Age, Robert Nelson  

© Du chonggang 2010