For example, the familiar Peiking Opera photos by Anhong and Qiuzheng in 1997. They shared the same inspiration of traditional Chinese culture and applied it into their composition. Although one is colored and the other is black and white, we can still notice the similarity between them.
I searched some pictures on the internet and found there are lots of same occasion, like some artists present the same thing in similar way or some even recreate on the bases of famous classic paintings.
Zeng fanzhi created his famous mark series in the mid 90s and one work of this series is called “The last supper” exactly the same composition as the original one. As you can see, he replaced the decorations on the wall with Chinese calligraphy and Jesus and his followers with members of young pioneers wearing white masks. According to the artist, the masks nevertheless possess a peculiar, haunting power, making people looks anxious and fearful. He recreated on the bases of Da Vincci’s work in order to allude the current Chinese society full of undiscovered betray and cheat.
There are some other examples of this recreation type. Like Zhou iehai’s “Placebo series” with the famous camel. Wang qingsong’s Picture of Lao li’s Night party, which copied the famous Chinese painting Picture of Han Xizai’s Night party of Dang Dynasty. Even Yue Minjun gets his inspiration from classic one. You can see he even re-create the background architectures.
Another type is contemporary artists using the similar element in their works, even sometimes they don’t know each others creation. I am not blaming them here to criticize the latter one stole the idea of the former one. I think this phenomenon occurs due to the Internet era we now live in with everything being mass produced. To Chinese artists, their art resources are almost the same—traditional Chinese culture, the common memory of Cultural Revolution and some current daily routine.
That why Anhong and Liuzheng used Peiking Opera costumes and Xu Bing, Gu wenda recreate Chinese calligraphy. And the images of Chairman Mao mushroomed ever since the end of Cultural Revolution. I will show you more examples.
The red wall is a visual motif that has appeared throughout Wei Guangqing’s work since the 80’s. Here, he extends the practice of the double take by encouraging the viewer to look again or reconsider familiar narratives and styles of images. The series “Red Wall” takes as its point of departure the Chinese moral classics The Virtuous Words with feudal maxims of ethical morals and doctrines. Appropriating this ancient illustrated book, he replaces the original text with the dominant visual symbol of a red wall, maintaining only the original illustrations and manipulating them with the flat pastiche technique of pop art.