The Sleeper Awakes
Artists include Sun Xun, Xu Bing, Feng Mengbo, Liu Xiaodong, Wang Ningde and Xu Qu.
In HG Wells’s The Sleeper Awakes, the hero emerges from a 200-year coma into a dystopian nightmare. “We were making the future,” he says, recalling his radical youth, “and hardly any of us troubled to think what future we were making.” In the 1940s, Mao’s revolutionaries set out to rouse China’s “sleeping lion” and build a socialist utopia. Seventy years on, the future has arrived—but is it the one they dreamed of? In The Sleeper Awakes, some of China’s most original artists reflect on a society where ambition, optimism, and growing freedom coexist uneasily with isolation, anxiety, and pervasive state control.