Wang Qingsong/Detroit/Beijing

February 2 - May 26, 2019

In The Bloodstained Shirt (2018), Chinese artist Wang Qingsong restages in Highland Park, Michigan, an iconic 1959 drawing by Wang Shikuo of peasants rising up against a cruel landlord and triumphantly reclaiming their right to the land. Wang’s projects are usually located in China, but while visiting southeast Michigan he was struck by the similarities between the effects of inequitable real estate development on local communities in Detroit, Highland Park, and his native Beijing. His large-scale photograph, set in an abandoned factory building in Highland Park and featuring more than seventy volunteers, collapses two moments in history to present a vivid reminder of the human consequences of the ruthless pursuit of profit and the power of collective action. The exhibition includes works created in collaboration with area residents that give voice to their concerns and their hopes for transformation and renewal.

Lead support for Wang Qingsong/Detroit/Beijing is provided by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, the Confucius Institute at the University of Michigan, the University of Michigan Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, and the Herbert W. and  Susan L. Johe Endowment.


Wang Qingsong, The Bloodstained Shirt, 2018. Courtesy the artist. © Wang Qingsong

Wang Shikuo, The Bloodstained Shirt, 1959, charcoal on canvas. Courtesy the National Museum of China and Wang Shikuo Foundation

Wang Qingsong in his studio wearing the landlord’s robe from The Bloodstained Shirt, 2018. Photograph courtesy the artist.


Exhibition Timeline

SatFeb 2
Exhibition Opens
Feb 2
Artist Talk: Connecting Communities: Wang Qingsong in Detroit and Beijing
Artists and Curators / Exhibitions Related
Feb 13
The Painted Face: Artistry, Design and Voice in Chinese Opera
Exhibitions Related / Performing Arts
Apr 5
Public tour: Wang Qingsong/Detroit/Beijing with Fang Zhang
Exhibitions Related / Gallery Talks and Tours
Apr 6
Chinese Contemporary Art: Exhibition, Collection and Criticism
Artists and Curators / Exhibitions Related
SunMay 26
Exhibition Closes