Painted on flattened cardboard boxes, these images illustrate some of China’s most iconic landscapes: the Great Wall, the "Welcoming-Guest Pine” on Mount Huang, a Yunnanese pavilion juxtaposed with a bird alighting on a bare tree branch, and Guilin’s spindly karst-formation mountains reflected in the Li River. These clichéd images—virtual “brands” for package tours—are further trivialized by being painted on the quintessential medium for packaging commercial goods. But Duan has carefully crafted these postcard-like landscapes, using the cardboards’ creased, corrugated texture to create a sense of intimacy and understated beauty that transcend the works’ mundane origins in material culture.
Acquired from Vitamin Creative Space (artist's representative), Guangzhou, China, in 2009 by Uli Sigg, a Swiss private collector. Donated to the M+ Museum of Visual Culture in 2012.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China," December 9, 2013–April 6, 2014.