China’s Avant-Garde Art Movement

Since the 1970s, art movements in China have been developing at a rapid pace. The painting above is by Yue Min-Jun, a world-renowned artist of the Cynical Realism movement. Watch this VIDEO to see the artists Chi Peng, Cao Fei, Liu Xiaodong and Yang Fudong. In the comments please write your reaction to the video or to one of the artists and their work.


About mattsclass

Teacher of English as a foreign language in Tokyo

21 responses to “China’s Avant-Garde Art Movement

  1. Jay

    1st comment!!

    I just finished watching the video and I liked the third artist, Liu Xiaodong mostly because he has a strong opinion on changes in China and isn’t afraid to express it through his artwork…which is an act, given China’s current policy, that I find rather courageous.
    On the other hand, I didn’t really like Cao Fei’s work because it was like watching videos made by “your good-but-still-average YouTuber”.

    See you on Monday!

  2. Shiori M5

    Hi, Matt!

    I was interested in the first artist, Chi Peng. He is only 26 years old and is already considered to be one of the most innovative representative artists in China. In his work, he blends reality and fiction, traditional motives and digital worlds. I wonder how he came up with such ideas. I think it is very unique.

    See you tomorrow!

  3. Mayuko Th5

    Liu Xiaodong’s work and policy interested me the most. He draws to tell everyone outside the country about the cons of economic growth in China through his art, for example, the death of traditions. Though his last painting was auctioned for several million dollars, he stays in a barren place, Tibetan highlands, so that he could get inspiration. I thought that it would need a strong commitment to do something like that.

  4. Toko M4

    I felt that what Liu Xiaodong is expressing with his works (industrialization and ” the death of tradition”) is an important thing for us, and that
    this is what gives his works a high value.
    Chi Peng’s works were stunning too, especilally the one which was crowded with stautes of Buddha.I thought his idea was new and interesting.
    The other two artisits, I didn’t quite understand what was so special about them.
    They were all rather eccentric though, and I guess that is why they are ” avant-garde”.

  5. Konomi M5

    Since I am not an expert of an art, i always choose the most interesting artwork just only by my feelings.
    This time, to me, Chi Peng’s art was the most interesting and understandable one.
    Paintings by Liu Xiaodong was also an interesting artwork but it just didn’t struck my heart.
    I think Chi’s artworks was nice because he used (or mixtured) real world and fiction.
    -or maybe i just liked it because he used photographs (I like people using their cameras.)
    anyways, see you tomorrow.

    M5 Konomi

  6. Shun M5

    I found Cao Fei’s art work the most interesting.
    Today, there are so many people who dresses like one character from a comic,movie, and cartoon just to have fun but Cao Fei has used them to express her feeling or opinion to modern China.
    Her works don’t look like an art and so they may have an impact to young generation who are bored with an art by Monet,Gogh, and Picasso.

  7. Tomomi M5

    Chi Peng’s works were the most interesting for me in the video.
    His works mix his imagination with reality.
    So at first I felt his work is very normal, but with careful watch, I found it very fantstic and interesting.
    I think the works are somewhat similar with impressionist art.
    This is one of the reasons that I like his work because I like impressionist art.

  8. misato M5

    good evening:D i fond of chi peng the best because his works are just interesting, i’ve just googled his works and i found a common point, those were strange and even made me weird......however those strangeness, they are at the same time fascinating.definetely have a strange reality,i was drawn by them as if they have a strong magnetic force.may be,this is because i have a strange taste (according to friend of mine.)here is the best of the best!please take a look at it.see you at your class;D    PS i was wondering if you introduce to me your friend,movie director, i wil be very glad!:3      : 

    • wow – Kimi’s website is really cool! i like her taste!!
      and yeah, i’ll try to introduce you to Paul, but he and i are so busy these days we never see each other! maybe i will see him at lunch tomorrow??

  9. Maho M4

    I found Cao Fei’s art interesting.
    Her work is not jut costume playing, and she mixes the world of Anime with the real world.
    I think many young Chinese people will get influenced by her way of expressing her opinion.
    Her part of the video was a little mysterious and that caught my attention too.

  10. Momo

    Good morning, Matt.

    I think Liu Xiaodong’s works are interesting to me.
    In China, a lot of people cannot express their opinion to the government.
    But he express his strong message by the way of art.

  11. Taro M4

    Hi Matt.

    Liu Xiaodong’s art was really interesting for me.
    I’ve never thought that art could leave such a concrete and strong message to us.
    I think his works have more impact than written texts or photos, and this might be the reason why his works are considered valuable

  12. kenken

    I am intrested in yang fudong’s art. But as a Chinese ,it makes me sad.

  13. misato M5

    hi matt
    ohhh that’s very kind of you plus i’m really sorry to desturb you….:(
    do you think he doesnt mind you teaching me his name or email address?
    if its okay with him, i can send him an email or take a contact in facebook, and i can talk to him directly
    thanks again and see you in an hour:D

  14. Shihoko M5

    I found Chi Peng’s photos most interesting in that they blend the reality and fiction, traditional motives and fiction worlds.
    I like Liu Xiaodong’s paint too, because they are dynamic, and showing death of tradition. Yang Fodong film is in monochromatic.
    All of them had new form of art.

  15. nanako M5

    I thought Cao Fei was cool. I like costume plays. It reminded me of halloween. When I was in elementry school, I wore cute costumes on halloweens and went trick or treeting. After I saw the video, I thought of wearing costumes on halloween @TUFS this year! Trick or treat!!! Anyone wiilling to give me chocolate?

  16. Kanako Th5

    Cao Fei fascinated me most. These days, wht is called “costume play” is very popular amoung young people.I think she has her own stle of making works and it was interesting for me.
    It is a kind of Japanese culture, so that I feel her work will spread it to Chinese. I hope many people not only to Chinese, but also to people all over the world.

  17. Yuki Th5

    I found Chi Peng’s work very interesting because it seemed unique to mix the reality and fiction. The fact that he was using the camera was surprising to me since I was thinking people using camera were only trying to express the reality, not fiction.

  18. Marie Th5


    I found Chi Peng’s photos to be interesting because he puts two opposite things together in his art, for example, and I love the one with modern buildings and buddhist statues.

  19. Kyoko Th5

    Hi Matt!

    I also think the Chi Peng’s art was interesting. He’s art is not just using paintings but camera!! I think it’s unique and cool.
    Moreover I think his art expression was easy for me to understand.

  20. Ai Nakamura

    I was impressed to know many types of art in China. I also want to know more about modern arts of other Asian countries.
    Frankly saying, I didn’t like the one that connected reality and TV game. Some people mix up reality and virtual reality. It’s serious problem for our society. Also, I am worried because many children today play TV game too much.

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