Prometeogallery in Milan presents work by the great master of Chinese conceptual art; Mao Tongqiang (1960). The artist known for his immense collections of found objects and his archival impulse, his work can be coined as a ‘Historic Turn’.
He collects, gathers and accumulates, often filling the exhibition space without narration yet his installations, instead of appearing as an epic mass of mute objects, each piece of is obsessively numbered and arranged into basic classification, an archive of witnesses, each silently screaming of something more tragic, becoming an anonymous representative, subject to the power that dominates it.
Mao Tongqiang’s work follows the passage of China from an agricultural economy to a modern economy based on goods and services with the pretention of keeping its political identity intact.
The title Da Shi Tang refers to the canteens during the Great Leap Forward (1958-1960) The canteens were a key component of social and political life in China’s period of collectivisation, families relinquished cooking in their own homes for communal canteens run by the rural communes and urban work units.
- Mao Tongqiang 'Da Shi Tang'. Courtesy of Prometeo Gallery