I feel like Zhang Xiaogang is making a big statement with his paintings. They are all very depressing to me because it calls the world out on its tendency to push people toward conformity. All of the characters he creates are monotonous and as simple as possible. There is little use of color and all of their facial expressions are sad. The combination of these effects is extremely effective in portraying emotion and even cause the audience to become saddened themselves. The paintings definitely take each element of society that the artist does not like and amplifies it into a tidal wave of hatred. It is hard to not feel the way the artist wants you to feel when you look at them.