The art of Song Dong and the contemporary Chinese family

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Chen, Jie, M.A.

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Studying contemporary Chinese art is not purely an aesthetic choice, but rather a response to the context of the times. From the initial development in the 1870s to the capital intervention in the 1990s, Chinese contemporary art began to internationalize and globalize. The artists who matured during this period now form the backbone of Chinese contemporary art. Having experienced the turmoil of Chinese society, they explore politics and ideology through their artwork with great depth and nuance. Song Dong, himself an artist of this generation, has been exploring ideas related to everyday reality, memory, and social issues through his artwork. This thesis examines three of Song Dong's works, namely Touching my father (1997-2011), Father and Son in the Ancestral Temple (1998), and Waste Not (2005), all of which revolve around the theme of family. In addition to considering the artist himself and his familial relationships, this study contextualizes Song Dong's works within the social and political landscape of contemporary China. Through this analysis, the thesis aims to explore the theme of family in greater depth. It also involves an exploration of censorship in Chinese contemporary art and how artists such as Song Dong use subtle artistic language to express their personal opinions.



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