A new expression of magical realism is manifesting itself amongst young artists in China. Typical of these paintings is a somber sensibility but images that are realistic.

These paintings are often solitary and the people portrayed in them are alone or lonely. You could say the people are lost in their thoughts. And what is in their thoughts also appears all over the canvas. Toys, other women or men, memories of past events; all of these may appear on the canvas of a magical realist artist and they will all look as if they are really there in the three dimensional world.

It is hard to identify why this type of art is emerging in younger Chinese artists but one can take some guesses. It could be the natural product of a rapidly changing society made up almost entirely of only children. The changes, and the worries about the future are reflected upon by these relatively solitary children who grew up without brothers and sisters. The pieces are somber but they are calm and they reflect. Not motivated toward outward action but focused more on introspection, it is natural that the images of the artist’s mind will appear on canvas alongside the real world.