The City

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Over the last thirty years the changes to China’s relationships with its cities have been drastic, and these developments continue to show no sign of stopping – by 2030 70% of China’s population, some one billion, will be living in cities. It is therefore no surprise that the city is a common concern of SURGE artists. Here we have collected some of those works together. A recurring theme seen in many of the works is bewilderment and disorientation. Another common theme is isolation and loneliness. How do the painting’s figures or us the viewers feel in these relatively new cities? Do we possess the conceptual schema to be able to feel comfortable within them? What effects do metropolises have on us? These are just a few of the questions that these works, especially when viewed together, might lead us to ask.


Jia Lin, Missed Scene No. 1, 2011

Liu Aijing, The City of Beijing No. 5, 2014


Michael Downs, HYBRID 2, 2013

5Qin Yiting, Line 8 Fantasty No. 2, 2013

Du Wei, Square Above the Railway Station, 2011


Dong Bin, Embarrasing Even Without Him, 2014 (right)

Cao Xihui, Bustling No. 8, 2011

Lu Yan, This Generation, 2015


Wang Yijian, Futile Effort, 2015


Han Qing, Street Light No. 1, 2014