Li Shan

1942, Heilongjiang China

Introduction

A founding member of the Political Pop movement of the 1990s, Li Shan is internation-ally known for his iconic portraits of a youthful exuberant Mao Zedong set against colourful backdrop, and usually accompanied by a lotus flower. Artists of this genre experienced China’s dramatic transformations and social upheaval during the 1980s and 1990s, recycling images of party propaganda from their youth. Born in 1942 Heilongjiang Province, Li grew up during the rise of the Chinese Communist Party. After studying at Heilongjiang University in 1963 he pursued further studies at the Shanghai Theatre Academy in the Department of Theatre Design in 1964-68 specialising in oil painting. Significantly, during the late 1970s he became actively involved in the Shanghai contemporary art scene, and participated in several exhibitions featuring the new generation of Chinese contemporary artists –what would become known as the 85 New Wave Movement artists. In 1993 his works were featured at the 45th Venice Biennale.

Alisan Fine Arts began representing Li Shan in the 1980s, and showcased his work in three important exhibitions at the Hong Kong Arts Centre. First, as part of the landmark group exhibition A State of Transition: Contemporary Painting from Shanghai in 1987. Then in 1994 the gallery organised a solo exhibition of Li’s early pre-political pop artworks, and in 1997 included his paintings in the group show Chinese Abstraction and Beyond.

He has had solo exhibitions at MoCA@Loewen, Singapore, and Museum of Con-temporary Art, Taipei. Important group exhibitions include Inside Out: New Chinese Art a travelling exhibition organised by the Asia Society, New York in 1998-2000; 85 New Wave: The Birth of Chinese Contemporary Art at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing in 2006. His works have been collected by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Fukuoka Asia Art Museum, Japan; Long Museum, Shanghai; Heilongjiang Museum; Shenzhen Art Museum; M+, Hong Kong; Yuz Foundation, Jakarta; Uli Sigg Collection, Switzerland.


BIOGRAPHY
1942   
Born in Lanxi County, Heilongjiang Province, China
1963   Studies at the University of Heilongjiang, China
1964-68   Studies at the Shanghai Academy of Drama, Arts Department (oil painting), Shanghai, China
1969   Works in a military farm in Zhejiang Province, China
1985-94   Lecturer at the Art Research Institute, Shanghai Academy of Drama, Shanghai, China
Currently living in Shanghai, China

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2014   
  • Extension Expansion, MoCA@Loewen, Singapore
2012   
  • Reading Li Shan, Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei, Taiwan
2007   
  • Reading Li Shan, ShanghART H-Space, Shanghai
2005   
  • Reading - Photoworks
2003-2005   
  • ShanghART H-Space, Shanghai, China
2004   
  • Li Shan: Small new works, ShanghArt Gallery, Shanghai
2002   
  • Reading, ShanghART Gallery, Shanghai, China
2000   
  • Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong
1976-1992   
  • Alisan Fine Arts at the Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong; Lin & Keng Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan
1990   
  • Shanghai Academy of Drama, Shanghai, China

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2016   
2015   
  • Early Abstraction in China
2012   
2009   
  • Shanghai Art Fair-Special Project, China
  • Shanghai History in Making from 1979 till 2009-curator: Biljana Circ 436 Jumen Rd.
  • Art 40 Basel: Group Exhibition Art Fairs Basel, Switzerland
  • Yi Pai - Century Thinking A Contemporary Art Exhibition, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China
  • CIGE 2009, Art Fair, China World Trade Centre, Beijing, China
  • 2008 FIAC 2008, Grand Palais, Paris, France
  • Shanghai Art Fair, China
  • Accumulations–The Spirit of the East: Group Exhibition, Asia Art Centre, Beijing, China
  • Blackbridge 08' Contemporary Art Exhibition: Group Exhibition, ArtGallery Blackbridge, Beijing, China
  • 2006 The Pumpkin Project - Li Shan & Zhang Pingjie Bio-Art Exhibition: Solo Exhibition, ShanghART Gallery, Shanghai, China
  • 85 New Wave - The Birth of Chinese Contemporary Art: Group Exhibition, Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China
  • Strategy on Paper - Works on Paper Invitational Exhibition: Group Exhibition Square Gallery of Contemporary Art, Nanjing, China 
2004   
  • The Wall-Reshaping Contemporary Chinese Art, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, University Buffalo Art Galleries, Buffalo, New York, USA; Millennium Art Museum, Beijing
2003   
  • Dajia-Studies on Design from Contemporary Art, Museum of Fudan University, Shanghai, China
  • Open Sky, Grand Opening of Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai, China

2002

  • Paris-Pekin, Espace Pierre Cardin, Paris, France

1998-00  

  • Inside Out:  New Chinese Art, Asia Society Galleries, New York; Contemporary Art Centre, Long Island City, New York, USA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, CA, USA; Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Monterrey, Mexico; Tacoma Art Museum and the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA, USA; Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong
1993
  • Chinese Art: Post 1989, Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong; Sydney, Australia; New York, U.S.A.
  • 45th Venice Biennial, Venice, Italy
  • Chinese Art: Post-1989, Marlborough Gallery, London, Great Britain

1992   

  • Begegnung mit den Anderen, Projektgruppe Stoffwechsel, Dokumenta Kassel und Hamm; Munich; Germany

1989   

  • 7 Modern Painters from the People's Republic of China, Galerie Werner Melletin, Cologne, Germany

1989   

  • Contemporary Chinese Art, China Art Museum, Beijing, China

1988   

  • 2nd Concave/Convex Installation Exhibition, organised with sculptor Yu Shen, Shanghai, China

1987   

  • A State of Transition: Contemporary Painting From Shanghai, Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong

1986  

  • 9th Exhibition of the Japanese Artists Group, Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan

1986   

  • 1st Concave/Convex Installation Exhibition, organised with sculptor Yu Shen, Shanghai, China

1986   

  • Grand Opening Exhibition at Shanghai Museum, Shanghai, China

1983   

  • Stage '83: Painting Experiments, Futan University, Shanghai, China

1982 

  • Painting the Chinese Dream: Chinese Art 30 years after the Revolution, Smith College, Northampton, MA; City Hall, Boston, MA; Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA

1978-1992   

  • Yallay Gallery, Hong Kong  


SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

Shenzhen Art Museum, China
Heilongjiang Art Gallery, China
M+, Hong Kong
Private collections in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, Germany, Great Britain, USA