Reclaiming the ruins: Examining the repurcussions of Chinese urbanization through the works of Zhang Dali, Xing Danwen, and Zhan Wang
Pederson, Madeline Christine
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Over the past three decades China has undergone vast socio-economic and political changes. Perhaps the most invasive effect of these changes is the proliferation of urbanization projects in cities throughout the country. By examining the works of three contemporary Chinese artists, Zhang Dali, Xing Danwen, and Zhan Wang, I seek to understand the psychological repercussions of rapid urbanization on the individual. I argue that one's personal identity is largely based on one's habitat. When one's habitat is forcibly changed, a crisis of identity occurs. The order in which I discuss the artists follows an argument in the progression of identity. Drawing comparisons between the works of these artists, I conclude that the only choice that leads to the survival of the authentic human within a changing environment is acclimation.