“Ink City” by Chen Shaoxiong
Chen Shaoxiong (1962) is a founding member of the Big Tail Elephant Group, a collective of artists who were very active and influential in Guangzhou from 1990 to 1998. The group primarily questioned the process of urbanization and “growth” of China during these years, especially in the south of the country. Fascinated by the urban transformation underway, Chen Shaoxiong’s work mediates on the rapid changes in city. Through various techniques –photography, video installations, collages, and ink painting – he created a series of pieces that explore new Chinese urban forms and temporality. The artist represents the intense pace and occasional absurdity of daily life: moments of family life, political issues, performance events, restaurants, and nightlife. His work also explores international issues, from terrorism to capitalism.
“Ink City” is one part of the Ink series, which he began in 2003. For this project, Chen collected photographs of urban scenes taken during his travels both across China and internationally during his exhibitions abroad. Using these as the foundation, he produced small ink paintings that reproduce these photographs and subsequently animated them. Each film has its own narration: urban life, daily life, diary, etc. The number of combined boards for each short movie varies from 100 to 300 according to each theme.