The Chinese artist Rong Bao invites visitors to his debut exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery to laugh at the absurdity of life. This marks the first time the renowned London gallery has hosted a Chinese artist, and Rong Bao has already hinted at the irony with the title “Rong Bao Is Me.”
words Emanuela Zini

Looking at his Instagram account, especially the videos of his works, the playful aspect that Bao seeks to convey is clearly evident. His inflatable works, on display at the Saatchi until March 31st, offer a perfect example of this aesthetic.

Pieces like “Floating” or “The Enigma,” with their vibrant, colorful aesthetics and continuous movement, aim to reflect on the complexity and diversity of life, mocking the absurd attempt to impose order on society.

Rong Bao, Alien Babes No. 2, 2023.
Rong Bao, The Enigma,2023.

At the heart of Rong Bao’s work is interaction, as stated on the Saatchi Gallery’s website. The exhibition “Rong Bao Is Me” is conceived as “a playground of gestures,” encouraging viewers to explore their mischievous side and immerse themselves in a world that challenges the boundaries of acceptability.

Rong Bao, Alien Rhapsody, 2023.

This interactive aspect is playful yet provocative, challenging viewers to reflect on their perception of the surrounding world. For Rong Bao, pushing beyond acceptability means seeking out deviant elements that can defamiliarize the audience. Everyday objects are stripped of their defining characteristics, flipped, and rendered senseless, prompting visitors to make futile and nonsensical gestures in front of the works, thus questioning the prejudices and order imposed by society.