Chinese line up to see top internet mahjong painting
- Published on Tuesday, 21 February 2012 07:25
- Written by By Zhang Zixuan (China Daily)
SHANGHAI - An exhibition featuring 30 oil paintings by Toronto-based Chinese artist Liu Yi has attracted thousands of viewers to line up at Shanghai Art Museum.Many of them have come to see the painting 2008 - Beijing, a portrait of four women playing mahjong and a girl watching.
The five figures are of different races and assume varied postures in a surreal environment.In the painting there is also a portrait of Mao Zedong's face on Chiang Kai-shek's head with Sun Yat-sen's moustache.It's believed a metaphor about international relations is buried in the image, although there are various interpretations.
Since 2006, the painting has flooded the internet and has garnered the third most clicks ever for a picture, after Da Vinci's Mona Lisa and Van Gogh's Starry Night.Liu probably didn't think that much during creation. But his solid Realistic painting skills and the dramatic tension of Modern Expressionism indeed makes him stand out as "the explorer between Surrealism and Pop Art", and an important figure of Magic Realism.His new book, Liu Yi - Behind the Work, was released at the exhibition on Feb 11. Readers can discover how the artist interprets his work.