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Dai Xiang (China)

The New Along the River During the Qingming Festival

Dai Xiang , The New Along the River During the Qingming Festival, 2014. Courtesy of the artist


With a total length of ten meters, in this presentation, The New Along the River During the Qingming Festival has taken three years and involved more than one thousand shots from its planning to completion. Based on Zhang Zeduan’s Along the River During the Qingming Festival from the 12th-century, I made a complete transformation in terms of both characters and events. Relying on the present, my work intends to cross the boundaries of time and space by incorporating dramatic poses into vignettes of everyday Chinese society. Realistically, this work brings to the foreground the conflict between the imported Western culture and Chinese traditional worldviews since China’s reform and opening-up. Technically, I intend to violate the laws of optics, putting multiple perspectives together to create an in-depth panorama, with emphasis on the layout details. In the work, I play various roles from all walks of life, as both onlooker and participant. Using myself in this way expresses the inherent connection and conflict among all things, as I reenact and experience all kinds of stories emerging from the process of China’s modernization.

Dai Xiang


Born in 1978 in Tianjin, China, Dai Xiang graduated from the Oriental art department of Nankai University, Tianjin in 2001. He studied at the photography and digital studio of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing in 2004. Dai’s artistic works involve painting and photography. He borrows from the visual and conceptual frameworks of China’s history of painting in his large-scale photographic collages that depict politically charged contemporary subjects. Within his works, Dai portrays the plethora of contemporary society in China, from the Chengguan (municipal law and ordinance enforcers), local vendors, real estate developers, and government officials to snap-happy tourists, while satirically reimagining historical moments.

Recent group exhibitions include The First Odense Photo Biennale, Brandts Art Gallery (2016); Bizarreland, Augustiana Sculpture Park and Art Centre, Augustenborg (2016) both in Denmark and in China; Vulnerability, EU Embassy, Beijing (2016); Parabiosis, Chongqing Yangtze River Museum of Contemporary Art, Chongqing (2016). Dai currently lives and works in Tianjin and Beijing..



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