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Wang zhijie-1_625

Wang Zhijie
Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice
(That’s What Little Girls Are Made Of)

Hai Gallery is pleased to announce the first Solo Show in Europe for Contemporary Chinese Artist Wang Zhijie.

Playful yet provocative, cute but curiously complex in questioning perceptions of beauty and attraction, the “Little Girl” series of paintings by Contemporary Chinese Artist Wang Zhijie are to be exhibited at Hai Gallery, London.

Wang Zhijie’s “Little Girl” paintings are amusing observations on the antics of young women in China today – inspired by the artist’s successful career in animation – yet rendered with a consummate painterly technique to create vibrant images that attract the eye and stimulate a curious, even unsettling, fascination in the viewer.

The artist’s focus on characteristics of conventional beauty – the girls’ big eyes, rosebud mouths, pouting, glossy lips and too-tiny-noses – are exaggerated, caricatured to a point that should undermine their appeal, yet seems to intensify it, creating a mesmerizing allure that both attracts and repels us and questions why we find such features so enticing.

The girls’ seductive appeal is complemented by their accessories – army caps and medals, fashion handbags, necklaces, cigarettes, strapless gowns – and accentuated by expressive make-up – eye-liner, mascara, lipstick and eye-shadow – and yet is presented in such a distorted fashion that it becomes far removed from naturalistic beauty.

While the conformity of the works painted in numerical series suggests the objectification of their subject matter, this notion is upturned by the vividness of the “Little Girls” depicted and the attitude with which they seem to manipulate the viewer as if it is they who are in control of this artistic process.

This complexity, allied to the striking vibrancy of his compositions, distinguishes Wang’s work from the trend of cartoon and “manga” inspired artists in modern day China and the ambivalence latent in his work is one reason why it is of increasing appeal to serious Collectors both in the East and West.