Since the 1980s, painting has played a prominent role in Chinese contemporary art. CHINAMANIA provides a multifaceted snapshot of the Chinese painting scene today.

ARKEN’s exhibition presents 24 paintings by 11 different contemporary Chinese artists, ranging from artists whose careers took off in the 1990s to today’s generations of young artists. Most of the paintings were made especially for this show.

Taking up and developing their country’s classic art forms, the artists mix stylistic features of propaganda-art woodcuts, Socialist Realism and classic Chinese 20th-century oil painting with expressive brushwork, cute cartoon esthetics and figurative realism.

Thematically, the artists treat both national and international issues. On the one hand, they deal with local and personal issues relating to their own lives and emotions, and Chinese art, culture and history. On the other hand, they turn their gaze outward to the global world society. Inspired by the art and visual culture of other countries, their paintings have clear parallels to various Western art movements, notably Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art.