Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

Radeau de la Madeuse


Solo exhibition


Hu Jieming was born in Shanghai in 1957. After graduating from the Fine Art Department of the Shanghai Light Industry College in 1984, Hu won numerous prizes as a student and then went on to pursue a highly successful career as a painter. In the 1990s Hu turned to video and installation art, experimenting with different media to produce an interesting commentary on contemporary society.

“Raft of the Medusa” was a series of four large digital images based on the celebrated painting by Theodore Gericault. Mimicking the structure of the original, Hu replaced the figures on the raft with characters that signified the cultural frenzy of contemporary China.

In addition, Hu Jieming exhibited eight “Postcards”, in which postcards of famous Chinese monuments have been enlarged and made to appear as if they were built from thousands of electronic images. These works, a tour de force of digital manipulation, play on the overheated economy of signs that has transformed China from a nation dominated by a single image – Chairman Mao – to one overwhelmed by the millions of images generated daily by mass media and free market capitalism.

Hu Jieming is an internationally renowned artist who has exhibited in Japan, Hong Kong, Norway, Canada, and the U.S.A. Last year, his work was included in “010101: Art In Technological Times” an important exhibition held at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

This exhibition is timed to coincide with the exhibition and conference on the “Art of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution 1966 – 1976″ organised by the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, UBC. Hu Jieming provides a contemporary harmonic to the discussion of culture in China during the 1960s. His new ‘cultural revolution’ replaces the panoptical power of centralized state government with the amorphous and fluid seduction of globalisation. Hu Jieming currently lives in Shanghai.