Date
23 March 2017
Painter Tang Zhigang is renowned for his political satire. His self-portrait (right) was painted last year. Photo: HKEJ
Painter Tang Zhigang is renowned for his political satire. His self-portrait (right) was painted last year. Photo: HKEJ

Children play key role in satirical paintings of Tang Zhigang

Chinese painter Tang Zhigang is renowned for his works of political satire, many of which feature children in key roles.

Tang was born into a military family in 1959, and his childhood was spent on a penal farm where his mother was a warden.

He enrolled in the People’s Liberation Army after graduating from secondary school and saw action twice in the Sino-Vietnamese war.

Tang has been able to liberate from the disciplined world of political and military ideals in which he lived and express his true self and thoughts through political satire in his paintings.

In the late 1990s, he rose to fame with his Children in Meeting series, in which children are portrayed as solemn political leaders hosting conferences and criticizing one another.

The Chinese art market has been on the rise, and Tang’s artworks have been in great demand since 2007.

As success and fame came to him, Tang decided in 2008 to stay out of public life.

After surviving a life-threatening illness in 2009, Tang’s style evolved from one of precision in details to freer brushwork, as seen in the new paintings on show in Hong Kong.

The exhibition, “WorldPlay: New Paintings by Tang Zhigang”, runs until July 11 at Hanart TZ Gallery in Central.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on June 30.

Translation by Darlie Yiu

[Chinese version中文版]

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FL

In The Collective (2014), fearful-looking children unveil the statue of a political leader. Photo: HKEJ


In History (2015), children stand triumphantly on top of a giant statue that has been toppled and broken in two. Photo: HKEJ


Dust 1 (2015) is part of a series featuring child amputees. Photo: HKEJ


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