Post pop: East Meets West at the Saatchi Gallery

December 30th, 2014 by Interestingness

The Saatchi gallery’s latest exhibition explores the legacy of Pop Art over world regions that have had very different and sometimes opposing ideologies, from China to Russia to the UK. Pop Art is based on exploiting identifiable imagery from mass media and everyday life to reflect the nature of the world we live in, and is a style that has flourished throughout the world in different guises.

One of the most interesting themes of the exhibition is Advertising and Consumerism. This room displays the interesting relationship of Russian and Chinese artists with Western advertising. For people whose lives were formed under Communist regimes, Western advertising presented an interesting parallel with the political propaganda they were accustomed too. This is shown no more clearly than in the work of Wang Guangyi, who combines communist propaganda with Western logos and slogans. (see below) Another cool piece was Feng Mengbo’s communist take on Mario Kart, in an 80s arcade games machine, in which a digitized Red Army soldier throws Coca-Cola cans at his enemies. This room also reminded me of relationship between pop art and the advertising industry, particularly the development of the first memorable print ads.

Other highlights of the exhibition included the kitsch-and-proud colours and images of Jeff Koons, and Gu Wanda’s seriously stunning installation of world flags created by gluing together human hair. Overall, Post pop: East Meets West presents a fascinating view in to the way in which pop art has been translated throughout different cultural dialects, and is worth visiting for anyone interested in an art movement which has had a huge influence over the industry.

Caroline Hailstone


lenin photo (5)1 photo1 wang

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