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Framed by controversy

By Zhang Kun (China Daily)

10:14, April 28, 2013

Beautiful Countryside, oil on canvas by Wang Yidong. (China Daily)

Though Realism is popular among the general public, it has its critics, says Zhang Kun in Shanghai, who reports on a new show at the Long Museum.

Despite the heavyweight artworks and big name artists, Long Museum's new exhibition has met with challenges from critics.

Experiencing Simplicity: Realistic Paintings from Long Collection in Shanghai's Pudong will be held until Aug 30.

It showcases more than 50 works created by Chinese Realist artists such as Jin Shangyi, Chen Danqing, Yang Feiyun, and Chen Yifei.

The artists include respected professors and those who have fetched record prices at auctions, while many of the paintings are familiar works because of media exposure.

Yet Jia Fangzhou, curator of the show, says organizing the exhibition was a risk since Realism is frequently criticized by contemporary art critics for being little more than photographic replicas, like the portrait of a flutist by Chen Yifei.

Lyu Peng, a critic, once challenged artist Leng Jun on his meticulous painting style and asked, "What's the point?"

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