Zhou Tiehai may be best known for campy paintings in which he transposes the head of Joe Camel, corporate mascot of the cigarette brand, onto paintings by Goya, Ingres, Manet, and other European masters. You might also recall his airbrushed portrait of Rudolph Giuliani, Libertas, Dei Te Serventi (Liberty, May God Protect You), 2002, which was included in “The American Effect: Global Perspectives on the United States, 1990–2003” at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, in 2003. The bottom corners of this canvas sport a pair of elephant-dung balls, a playful homage to Chris Ofili’s
Dai Chenlian’s exhibition “A Bright Moon Surging upon Tide” took the viewer into an unfamiliar realm. A giant boat made of paper and wood stood toward one end of the gallery; black lines and dashes embellished the floor and columns, as if measuring and dividing the space; landscapes were drawn directly on the walls; paper signs with words such as WATER and ROCK sat on the ground or hung from ropes; and a few paintings and readymade objects occupied various corners. The entire exhibition was almost black and white, and felt like the interior of another, bigger boat resembling the one in the space.