Born 1981, Baishan, Jilin

People have “a kind of prejudice towards history and traditions,” Guo Ling believes. To explore this prejudice, she paints European-style buildings of the colonial era. The ones in Bias No. 10 and Bias No. 11 (2008) are banks; others include railway stations, government office buildings and stores. These buildings convey an image of power, the artist says, but it’s an image slanted by the viewer’s cultural background. For Westerners, the architectural style represents cultural pride; for Chinese people it bears silent testimony to what Guo Ling regards as a “humiliating history.”  The slanted aspect of the buildings’ façades is a kind of metaphor, she says.  She wants to remind people that they view China’s past from the same “biased angle” as they are viewing its monuments.


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