Jia Aili - Untitled (Man with a Helmet) [2012] on Flickr.

This shows a figure in semi-profile wearing a Chinese fighter pilot helmet and face mask, depicted against a blank black background. The combination of the solitary figure, with the overtly Chinese iconography is typical of Jia Aili’s works: an effect he uses to make reference to the introverted generation created by the one-child policy. Aili (born 1979) grew up in 1980s rural China when this policy was in full effect, and the endemic loneliness of a country raised without siblings proliferates throughout his oeuvre.

[Sotheby’s, London - Oil on canvas, 50 x 40 cm]

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