Wang Qingsong

Beijing, China

Requesting Buddha series no.1

Beijing artist Wang Qingsong’s work Requesting Buddha Series No.1 is the artist’s first work for Sedition and references one of his most iconic images: the self-portrait as buddha; in this particular case from the photographic work of the same title Requesting Buddha Series No.1, 1999.

Wang - originally trained in painting - turned to photography in the late 1990s in order to convey the distinctive and more often than not very painstaking vision of Chinese modernism during its ongoing economic boom and revolution. His large scale colour photographs combine references to classic Chinese culture with ironic commentary on new China’s material wealth and consumerism.

Buddhism has accompanied Chinese civilisation as quintessence of Chinese traditional culture for centuries; the Buddha making it his goal to save those suffering through self-devotion and frugality. Wang Qingsong: “However, in the current commercial society, the respectable Buddha has been changed. It reaches out its hands insatiably for money and material goods towards every troubled person. The Requesting Buddha Series is the faithful representation of such a phenomenon, overflowing with desires, hypocrisy and exaggeration.” Requesting Buddha Series No. 1 is a beautifully animated digital version of the original photograph.

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