Wang Jinsong graduated from Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts in Hangzhou in 1987. Trained as a traditional Chinese ink painter, over the years the artist's oeuvre has expanded to include oil painting, photography, and video. Wang Jinsong's work examines the implications of a range of government policies on contemporary Chinese society. After the Tiananmen Square incident in 1989, Wang was among the first group of young artists to produce works critical of the political situation in China in a style that would later became known as cynical realism. His interest in the social conditions in China continued when he began taking photographs in the late 1990s.
Wang Jinsong's photographic work is among the first to touch upon the issues facing modern China, such as large-scale urban development, the 'Westernization' of the Chinese people, and the policies affecting common people. His works of conceptual photography have had a profound impact on later photographers, earning him an important position in the history of contemporary Chinese photography.