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Galerie Sommerlath

" I am a Ninja" Pop Art Portrait in Amsterdam by Shao Qi

" I am a Ninja" Pop Art Portrait in Amsterdam by Shao Qi

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In the infinitely complex world of contemporary art, many works serve as vehicles for thought, postural statements, and emotion. Such is the case with SHAO QI, a renowned Chinese artist who skillfully blends the political, cultural, and aesthetic in her lithographic work entitled "I am a Ninja."

This piece, limited to thirty copies, numbered 21/30 in pencil and dated 2011, is a perfect example of how cross-influences can be integrated and cultural barriers broken down.
Historically, ninjas were inferior warriors in feudal Japan, often recruited by samurai and governments to serve as spies. Their mysteriousness has allowed them to infiltrate contemporary popular culture, so much so that their ubiquity eventually transcends borders, internationalizing the ninja and rendering its Japanese origin a simple detail, among others, in public perception, a component of a character that has become universal.

Pop art, an artistic movement of the second half of the 20th century, is known for its appropriation and subversion of consumer products and cultural icons. By hijacking elements of mass culture, pop artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein transformed the perception of art and its eligible subjects. The use of a ninja silhouette in "I Am a Ninja" follows this tradition, exploiting a popular symbol to reimagine it.

The dynamic interplay of colors, in particular the aesthetic power of red and black, is essential. Red's radiant luminescence contrasts sharply with black's ultimate absorption, framing the work in a colorimetric face-off reminiscent of the propaganda posters of yesteryear. Red, the color of revolution, power, passion, and vitality, blends with black, shadow, and emptiness.

The bold black lines that delineate the figure are reminiscent of Shepard Fairey's work under the OBEY signature. These lines convey a vibrant, primitive force akin to Russian Constructivist posters, loading the artwork with a declarative aura.

In the background, the letters "Amsterdamse" followed by a word starting with "H O G" allude to the backdrop's origin, which could have come from a Dutch poster. This subtle wink adds an extra layer of intrigue and boundary-breaking determination.

Now imagine this: you're walking down a dimly lit alley when you hear a faint murmur behind you. Before you can turn around, a shadowy figure falls from the rooftops, sword flashing in the moonlight. You brace yourself, but instead of attacking, the ninja performs an elegant somersault, landing in front of you and striking a spectacular pose. Just as quickly, it disappears into the night, leaving you with your heart pounding. Yes, it's a ninja!

With this lithography, SHAO QI asserts that symbols and motifs traditionally attached to a specific culture can be adopted and reformulated in an increasingly interconnected world.

B I O -
Shao Qi, born in 1987 in Shanghai, China, is a distinguished artist known for her unique approach to visual communication. She graduated in 2011 from East China Normal University in Shanghai, specializing in image communication. Shao Qi's career has been marked by numerous significant exhibitions. In 2012, she showcased her work at the Los Angeles World Exhibition, the Shanghai City Art Fair, and the Australian Art Fair, where she held solo exhibitions that solidified her reputation in the art world. The previous year, she participated in the Shanghai Youth Art Exhibition and had a solo exhibition at the Shanghai Art Fair. In 2010, Shao Qi's work was featured at the Saint-Andéen Biennale in France and in "The Age of Jelly" exhibitions in Lyon, France, and Basel, Switzerland. She also held a solo exhibition at the Shanghai Spring Art Salon that same year. Her earlier achievements include participation in the 2009 "Exhibition of Innovative Art Design Works by University Students" at the Shanghai Art Fair and "The Second Animation Aesthetic Biennale" at the Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art. Shao Qi's talent was recognized early in her life, with her work appearing in the 1998 "Sakura" Sino-Japanese Painting Competition, the 1997 2nd "International Aviation Painting Competition," and international children's painting exhibitions in the Netherlands and India in 1994. Shao Qi's artistic journey reflects her consistent ability to engage and inspire through her thought-provoking and visually striking works.

PERIOD: 2010-
CONDITION: Excellent
MEASUREMENTS: Height: 35.25" Width: 25.25" Depth: 0.88"
MATERIAL: Lithograph

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