Jin Shan was born in Jiangsu Province in 1977, and he studied Fine Arts at East China Normal University, graduating in 2000. Sometimes described as an ‘agent provocateur’, he epitomises the emergence of a rising twenty-first-century generation of artists, working across media and forms, challenging art conventions and assumptions about Chinese art. Jin Shan is a member of the post-Mao generation. Born after the end of the Cultural Revolution, their adult lives shaped by China’s entry into the market economy, the country’s increasing wealth, and by the forces of globalisation, they experienced a world very different from that of their parents. Jin was twelve years old in 1989 when People’s Liberation Army tanks entered Beijing to crush the student-led demonstrations in Tiananmen Square, and somewhat oblivious to its implications. Yet broader political changes in China had already marked his father’s life: Jin Shan’s father was a set painter for a Chinese opera company, but during the Cultural Revolution turned his talents to painting portraits of Mao and illustrating party slogans. These experiences have helped to make Jin Shan a reflective artist, aware of the impact of political power and authoritarian control on creative expression, and grateful for the relative freedoms afforded his generation. In multi-faceted interdisciplinary works, Jin Shan uses humour rather than polemics to explore ideas about contemporary life: his subjects have included the corruption of wealthy Chinese elites and examinations of power, class divisions and Chinese exceptionalism. A critique of authority is at the centre of his practice. Jin’s work has been shown widely within China and internationally, including in ‘The Allure of Matter’, an exhibition curated by Wu Hung and shown at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2019) and the Smart Museum, University of Chicago (2020). Jin Shan lives and works in Shanghai.
The White Rabbit Collection is one of the world’s most extensive and significant collections of contemporary art from China. With a focus on works created since the year 2000, the Collection contains almost 3,000 works by over 750 artists and continues to expand. Note that when you click on the link below you will be forwarded to the White Rabbit Collection website.
Explore the work of Jin Shan in the collection database