Enmeshed in an aura of awe and admiration in equal measure, China occupies a special place on the mental map of the world. Contemporary Chinese art for the last 20 years has also enjoyed a cult following on the international circuit. How can we explain the phenomenon of Chinese identity and the fetish for Chinese art? Mika Mattila, for the past few years a resident of the Middle Kingdom, has attempted to answer that question by examining the creativity of two artists. Liu Gang is a rising star and, until recently, a humble graduate of peasant origins. When an American curator presented his pictures in the most prestigious gallery in Beijing, his career gained momentum and daily life took a dramatic twist. In exclusive restaurants, among prominent people, and with the promise of an international career, Liu Gang is no longer the same person. The second featured artist is the most lauded celebrity of Chinese art, Wang Guangyi - an aging multi-millionaire and pop-artist, who revolutionised the Chinese art scene in the 1980s using concepts from Western art. Chimeras is a film about the price of success that also poses a question heard with growing frequency (not just in China): does national art have a right to exist in a globalised world?
Born in Helsinki in 1974. He graduated from Tampere School of Arts & Communications in 1998, majoring in cinematography. Chimeras is his directorial debut. For years he was based permanently in China, working as cameraman in Asia. Today he divides his time between Helsinki and Beijing.
2013 Chimery / Chimeras (doc.)