In his artistic practice, Pu Jie attempts to use fragments of collective memory as well as his own personal experiences to compose a narrative of a contemporary way of existence in the shadow of China's recent past. Avoiding trappings of both nostalgia and amnesia, he references instead life in the rapidly expanding urban metropolis and its oscillating imageries of eroticism, political propaganda and ancient myths. Monochromatic colors in red, yellow and blue dominate his large-scale paintings. The compositions are not subject to the classical central perspective, but consist of collage figures and texts that are noticeable as vast bases in favor of other images, usually painted with striking contours. The different layers of imagery are brought together in the picture by the unifying aesthetic expression, which is a blend of pop and comic strips. Pu Jie's works comment on a variety of themes that he conjures up in dynamic and intense scenes. Here, he underscores illusory aspects of the mediated day-to-day reality of a rapidly changing society. Pu Jie juxtaposes seemingly contrasting narratives and memories as an attempt to show the fragmentary, ever-shifting and therefore incoherent nature of life.
Focusing on the urban context in Shanghai, Pu Jie also touches upon the tabula rasa approach that is so prominent in urban development, where the destruction of entire neighborhoods is cause for severe social implications. "Modernization" (2001) features a plastic replica of the Pudong Tower in Shanghai, which was set on fire by the artist resulting in ashes of a city in ruin.
Pu Jie was born in Shanghai in 1959. He graduated from Shanghai Normal University, Fine Arts Department in 1986. Recent exhibitions include Space-Time Reconstruction, Ausin Tung Gallery, Hong Kong (2012); Memory and Witness-Pu Jie's Solo Art Exhibition, Museum at Tamada Projets, Tokyo, Japan (2009); Look Ahead, Look Back-Pu Jie's Solo Art Exhibition, Today Art Museum, Beijing (2009); Red Hot-Asian Art Today from the Chaney Family Collection, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, U.S.A. (2007); Mahjong-Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection, Kunstmuseum Bern, Bern, Switzerland (2005), City of London Festival, Royal Exchange, London, U.K. (2003), The Dream of the City by the Sea, Museum für Hamburgische Geschichte, Hamburg, Germany (2003) etc.