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Blue-chip Chinese artist Zeng Fanzhi built up a lucrative career by looking to the West for inspiration and buyers, but a new retrospective in Beijing reveals an unlikely turn back toward China's own aesthetics and traditions.Zeng is China's second best-selling living artist, according to wealth publisher the Hurun Report.Zeng rode the wave of China's development, rising to fame from humble beginnings at a time when the country had no significant art market of its own.Zeng's output is testament to a key moment in China's artistic engagement with the outside world, he explained, when his generation found real inspiration and meaning in the Western idea of art as a tool of fomenting social change.The return to a Chinese artistic vocabulary reflects not just a change in the way Zeng sees himself, but in the way the world sees Chinese artists.As China becomes richer and more powerful, Tinari said, its artists do "not necessarily need to make work that narrates the Chinese situation, or that explains the social and political problems and questions of the nation". The change, he said, is a sign that China, along with its art market, is maturing. "Zeng Fanzhi: Parcours" is up at Beijing's Ullens Center for Contemporary Art through Nov. 19 .
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