TSENG KWONG CHI: Self Portraits 1979-1989

15 April - 31 May 2008

Ben Brown Fine Arts is pleased to announce an upcoming exhibition of photographs by Tseng Kwong Chi (1950-1990). A comprehensive survey of Tseng‟s pioneering series of self-portraits, this exhibition will feature over 90 large-scale, black-and-white photographs, some of which will be on view for the first time.

The son of exiled Chinese nationalists, Tseng Kwong Chi was part of an intimate circle of artists, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, and Cindy Sherman among them, who took the center stage of the New York art world during the nineteen-eighties. As a Hong-Kong born, Paris-trained artist, Tseng viewed himself as a citizen of the world and eschewed labeling himself or his art as "Chinese." However, his ironic self-portraits posed in a Mao suit in front of American landmarks found their way to Communist China and were profoundly influential for China‟s avant-garde, including conceptual artists Song Dong and Zhang Huan, who were exposed to Tseng‟s images through western magazines smuggled into the country in the 1980‟s. Tseng‟s photographs not only satirized relations between the United States and its emerging rival, China, but also broadcasted his freedom of movement - a privilege denied most Chinese artists at the time.