Li Songsong. Cuban Sugar, 2006 Oil on aluminium panels
Li Songsong.
Cuban Sugar, 2006

Oil on aluminium panels

Cuban Sugar by Lee Songsong, is a reworking in oil paint on aluminium of a photograph taken during the United Nations conference, which addressed the Cuban crisis of 1962. The work was created in response to a later political-economic juncture, when difficulties in the Chinese sugar industry compelled China to strike a deal with Cuba for trade in that commodity. Cuban Sugar reflects ideological conflict and lack of integrity and unity between political parties by fragmentation of the image into separate, disconnected parts.

The works of Songsong, who emerged as an artist after the rule of Mao Tse-tung, reflects the changes that have ensued in China and internationally since that period. His distinctive creative hallmark is to copy photos from newspapers, magazines, the Internet and books onto canvas or aluminium panels, usually splitting the image to generate a collage of varied, vivid textures and hues. The artist breaks up the composition into pieces and works with each sector separately, using shades of color. The outcome is a work with ambiguous, abstract connotations, which Songsong leaves the viewer to interpret.

Li Songsong was born in 1973 in Beijing, China, where he now lives and works.