Shang Liang: New Man


  • Location:
    Cc Foundation & Art Centre, Shanghai
  • Artist:

Cc Foundation & Art Centre is pleased to present artist Shang Liang’s solo exhibition “New Man” on November 7, 2022, featuring her latest series of paintings and sculpture. With her signature range of visual symbols, the artist endeavors to dismantle the myths around body, gender and subculture, exploring alternative practices of aethestive production and identity construction.

In Shang’s long-time series Good Hunter, Boxing Man, and Sofa Man developed through her previous solo exhibitions “New Order” (2019) and “Mortal at the Helm” (2021), she has invented and established the image of a new race of people known for its mutated muscle, whose gender and age is vaguely discernible yet not verifiable for the viewer. It is a symbol of heroism with its exceedingly worked out body, as well as a lonely and ambivalent individual unsanctioned by mainstream rules. Throughout Shang’s works, a muscle-worshipping aesthetic is developed to the extreme and thus becomes a parody and deconstruction of itself. By being overly strong, the new man makes strength seem suspicious and ludicrous; by being exaggeratedly in line with the mainstream discipline of the gendered body, it derails and deviates from the norms. Such an ambiguity in stance echos the fluidity of gender and identity that informs Shang’s practice.

The image of this “new man” can be conceived as the artist’s self reflection and projection. In the current exhibition, she and/or he will continue to chart the freedom of identity construction and self display in the postmodern and post human context. Entangled in a paradoxical narrative, the larger-than-life figures on canvas combine humanity, divinity and poetry. They appear phallocentric and yet challenge the hegemony signified by their very appearance. Under Shang’s well-controlled, accurate brushstrokes telling of her orthodox training, irrationality prevails – herein lies Nietzsche’s Dionysian, Freud’s going “beyond the pleasure principle”, and ultimately, the spiritual drive of the artist’s unceasing creation and unification with her own works.