Click here to search
Dansk version Sitemap Print

Fang Lijun - china
gigantic woodcuts in colour

Fang Lijun is a leading figure in Chinese contemporary art. His works are highly sought-after and he has exhibited at a number of museums in the East, Europe, and the United States.
This exhibition is his first separate exhibition in Denmark.

Fang Lijun was born in 1963 and grew up during the Cultural Revolution. He experienced the breakdown of the system and the following – changing – political agendas. In 1989 he graduated from the graphic line at the Academy of Fine
Arts in Beijing, but apart from the graphics he works with painting, sculpture, drawing, and installation.

Many young artist of Fang Lijun’s generation has been influenced by Western art, but Fang Lijun is among those relating to the tradition, in the sense that he portrays the Chinese people, but with an approach critical of society. He works in a very simplified, realistic style, and his motifs are stylized Chinese human figures, alone or as part of a crowd. They are anonymous, but with their clean-shaven heads they can be regarded as monks or as convicts. Fang Lijun himself has emphasized the strategic meaning by choosing the motif with the clean-shaven head as a sign of the urge for rebellion. To appear with a clean-shaven head obliterates the difference between individuals and thus underline the collective. On several levels there is ambiguity in his works. One cannot determine if his figures are laughing contemptuously or if they scream in pain and anger. Fang Lijun shows us that life is not all that fantastic when you are facing the power and a system of values characterized by mainstream. It takes courage to confront the destiny of the collective and the reality through art. Fang Lijun has that kind of courage.

The exhibition is the result of a cooperation between Vendsyssel Museum of Art and the Danish Cultural Institute, working to promote the exchange of art and culture between Denmark and China. The Chinese curator Zhu Huiping has arranged the exhibition as well as the catalogue.

The catalogue (114 pages) displays the woodcuts and the text is illustrated with paintings as well as installations. It gives a good impression of the artistic comprehensiveness of Fang Lijun. During the exhibition the catalogue is sold for 50 DKK.

Press pictures can be obtained at Museum Keeper Sine Kildeberg, tel. +45 98 92 41 33 or mail

Further information on the exhibition, please contact Museum Curator Marianne Ilkjær at tel. +45 98 92 41 33 or mail

Fang Lijun, untitled, 244 x 366 cm, 1997