3227 | WANG XINGWEI Painted in 2008 COMRADE XIAOHE NO.1


Author: WANG XINGWEI 王兴伟

Size: 130×90cm

Signed and dated: Painted in 2008


Final Price: RMB 3,700,000

2016 Honor and Disgrace — Wang Xingwei / P13 / Galerie Urs Meile
signed in pinyin initial, dated 2008 (on the reverse)
2009 One - man show, Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing
2013 Wang Xingwei, UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing
2016 Honor and Disgrace Platform China & Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing

“Comrade Xiao He” is a poor line drawing of characters I bought from an old book stand when I lived in Shanghai, . It was like an art class assignment of a student in the 1960s and 1970s. It had the title: "Xiao He in the north". I didn’t know whether Xiang Bei meant a film or a literary work. I’m very interested in the sense of history (out of date) and the characters of this subject are in motion. On this basis, I remoulded the modeling, strengthened the volume and sense of movement of the mannerism, and drew four "Comrade Xiao He", this is the first version.

Wang paints with a style of representing drama and stage,artfully connecting the reference in the west and the revolutionary tradition in China to contemporary context.Entering the new century, Wang has changed his serious and classical brushwork to a more relaxed and simple one (visual effect). However, its richness and ambiguity become more obvious.One of his representative works is Comrade Xiaohe No.1, once on display at a remarkable exhibition named Honor and Disgrace in 2008. We can see wang’s deep thoughts about the tradition and modernity in his humorous and hyperbolic language.
In his painting Comrade Xiaohe No.1, he depicted a young Red Army soldier in blue-gray military uniform. He is thin, babyish,and innocent, looking straight ahead as if at a loss.He runs forward in a hurry, stepping on the stones with his kettle flying in the air. But where is Xiao He going? Wang accompanied it with a short poem:
His chest is burning like fire
Sad as a lost wild goose
How are the leaders of the Amy?
How long the road is.
Oh,comrade Xiao He was left behind and lost his way. At this moment, he is not a Red Army figure in classical revolutionary narratives, but an individual with human personalities.The painting provides a way of deconstructing and re-interpreting histories:
The little soldier feels lost on the road of the march or the revolution and war.
The truth may be hidden beneath the surface.
The painting juxtaposes bright colors, dynamic forms, and illusionary backgrounds. Wang uses dramatic techniques to treat grand narratives and historical traditions, and then explores the forming and deconstruction of concepts, social meaning and personal choices, which demonstrates Wang’s subtle sense of humor and insight.
— Wang Xingwei

Anxious heart burnings like fire, lonely geese singing the song of blue. How‘s our leader, the high sky, moving clouds and the long road.
—Wang Xingwei