Liuming, Fen Ma Liuming Walks on the Great Wall (1998).
A member of the artistic generation that developed in Beijing in the mid-1990s,
Ma Liuming adopted the performance identity of “Fen Ma Liuming,”
a lithe, androgynous creature. His nude walk on the Great Wall, presented
in the exhibition as both a photo work and a video, contrasts the solidity
of the Wall—the paramount symbol of China’s historic power—with
the fragility and ephemeral presence of the individual.
The works in this section explore the contemporary legacy of China’s
past. Some artists, for example, update motifs drawn from the rich heritage
of Chinese art. Still others examine the consequences of such recent historical
moments as the Cultural Revolution, a period of traumatic upheaval that
many of the artists experienced in their childhood.