Wang Guangyi’s Great Criticism series, which juxtaposes revolutionary images with the Coca Cola and other western commercial logos, has become an iconic representation of China’s contemporary art movement. The series has been described again and again as a form of subtle political protest. But what did Wang really mean? Do we oversimplify Chinese art? Peggy Wang, author of the new published The Future History of Contemporary Chinese Art, examines China’s most famous “political pop” and challenges the way the art world views Chinese art.
Pieces of China is an online series that tells the story of China, one object at a time. Each live-streamed 15-minute episode features experts, thought leaders, and friends, who will share objects, places, and ideas—personal or culturally significant—that combine to build a unique picture of modern China.
Peggy Wang is associate professor of art history and Asian studies at Bowdoin College. Her research explores how meanings and histories are constructed in light of cultural globalization. Her new book, The Future History of Contemporary Chinese Art, which focuses on methods of interpretation and narratives of agency, speaks to Wang’s inquiries into what it means for histories of contemporary art—and Art History more generally—to be inclusive.