Born 1960, Shouyang City, Shanxi
Xing Junqin spent much of his career in the Chinese Army, as a designated military artist. His works continue to include military imagery—weapons, camouflage, uniforms—but they also reflect on the relationships between Chinese and Western culture. They often parody iconic pictures: one showed two soldiers using Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain as it was made to be used—by urinating in it; another added a mushroom cloud to the background of Edvard Munch’s The Scream. Military No. 1 and Military No. 2 play on the celebrated photograph by Joe Rosenthal of Marines raising the flag during the battle for Iwo Jima island, near Japan, in 1945. One of the most reproduced photos of all time, it was the basis of the Marine Corps memorial in Washington, D.C., and inspired the Clint Eastwood film Flags of Our Fathers. Xing Junqin converts a memorial to the 6000 Americans who died in that epic struggle into a cartoon about capitalism, which for the artist is symbolised by Coca-Cola.