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Charles Meng brings surprises (and pandas) to Conduit Gallery

The China-born painter has a sophisticated style suffused with wit and irony.

Charles Meng, whose recent paintings can be seen at Conduit Gallery, is full of surprises. Born in Shanghai, he completed degrees in his native China and in the United States and now lives and works in both countries, the gallery says. His style is sophisticated, suffused with wit and irony.

Though Meng says that he finds Asian imagery stale, pandas repeatedly turn up in his work — and in unexpected places. They’re found seated with Whistler’s Mother (Meng likes referencing famous artworks in his art); pedaling a rickshaw loaded with cargo; driving a vintage convertible; and standing between a nude woman and man, neither looking pleased with the situation.

While Meng wants to make art for art’s sake, social commentary can’t help creeping in. Inequality is a stark reminder that the life of the luckless woman depicted with two adolescent boys, seated on a bench, is not right. Sometimes, I suspect, Charles Meng surprises even himself.



Charles Meng’s “New Paintings” exhibition runs through July 6 at Conduit Gallery, 1626 Hi Line Drive, Dallas. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 214-939-0064 or visit

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A panda transports a heavy load in Charles Meng's 2024 painting "Pedaling Panda."
A panda transports a heavy load in Charles Meng's 2024 painting "Pedaling Panda." (Conduit Gallery)