Shi Yong Shi Yong, a self-portrait in the style of De Chirico. Classically trained, this 1989 work was his final traditional painting.

"Borrow a Door from Duchamp's"
(Draft for a 1996 installation)

Shi writes, "It seems appropriate to put all Chinese art work in a travel bag because the work is small in volume and can be conveniently carried out of China for exchange. But it is not completely safe to bring the work out and show it around." He adds an ironic note, "... a special trolley in a supermarket... can satisfy all your desires for consumption."

catalogs Chinese contemporary artists avidly consume art news. Magazine articles and contacts with artists who travel outside of China keep them abreast of what's happening in art globally. They idolize the triumvirate Marcel Duchamp, Andy Warhol, and Joseph Beuys, because of the stand these artists took against traditional art forms.

Image Advertising "Image Advertising", Shi Yong's interactive computer work in the exhibition "Cities on the Move", held in Vienna from Nov 26, 1997 to Jan 18, 1998. Shi asks viewers to vote on a hairstyle for him, to decide on his new image, which he will plaster on billboards around Shanghai like a body lotion advertisement. Shi's wry comment on the consumerism engulfing China comes from an idealism that Shi traces to the rigors of his intensive classical art training. He faults today's young artists for their self-indulgent focus on money. He too admits to wanting money, but at least he remembers the idealism of his youth.

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