Exhibition: Fang Lijun – Portraits and Porcelain (Ashmolean Museum)

Date of event:   15/10/2023 − 14/04/2024

Title: Fang Lijun: Portraits and Porcelain
Duration: 15 October 2023 to 14 April 2024
Institution: Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, UK

This exhibition celebrates more than 100 artworks by the contemporary Chinese artist Fang Lijun, on loan from his studios in Beijing and Jingdezhen and from private collections. It showcases Fang’s paintings and drawings, and also ceramics produced in the last five years.

Fang Lijun was one of the leading protagonists of the early 1990s Cynical Realist movement, a major art movement in China post-1989. His works captured the disillusionment of his generation and reflected the feeling of helplessness in Chinese society in the early 1990s.

Some of these seminal paintings he became famous for – the large anonymous, shaven heads and blank faces – are in our exhibition, alongside early pencil drawings from his student days and newer ink paintings and a series of intriguing porcelain pieces.

For the last ten years, Fang has been experimenting with porcelain and its fragile qualities. Supported on organic matrixes that burn away in the kiln, the delicate porcelain structures that remain represent precariousness itself. The exhibition will show small test pieces alongside medium and large-scale work, some of which embed — again — faces. These small porcelain faces are, like those in his big early paintings, anonymous and distanced.

The human head or face, the image that established Fang Lijun’s success, remains a key element in his art.

For more information, please visit the website here.