“ I am concerned about freedom, democracy, human rights, in my opinion, these are part of art. ”
Born Kunming, Yunnan, 1960
Ever since he stopped working as a market gardener to seek his fortune in the big city, Zhu Fadong has been preoccupied with the fate of the individual in China’s economic maelstrom. He made his name as an artist with a 1993 performance piece/installation in which he put up wanted posters for a missing person: himself. The following year, he played on the same idea by walking around Beijing wearing a placard that advertised “Person for Sale, Price Negotiable”. Zhu Fadong still does live works, but sometimes he finds sculpture, drawing or painting more suited to his message. Celebrity 48 (2008) is a portrait of Mao Zedong composed entirely of logos and brand names, from Yahoo and Wal-Mart to Sony and Visa; in a nice touch, Mao has a Mercedes badge on the tip of his nose. In the glory days of the Communist Revolution, the Supreme Leader was once the face of China. Now, Zhu Fadong seems to say, that face has fractured into a collage of commerce.