This article is dedicated to examination of the phenomenon of contemporary Chinese art, its essential specificity within the framework of tradition and in the conditions of globalization. For achieving the set goal, the author applies the method of historical-cultural analysis in combination with the elements of structural-semiotic analysis of contemporary art in China of the late XX century. For historical and social reasons, contemporary art became a substantial part of the works of Chinese artists only after the “Reform and Opening-Up” in the 1980s. China was able to preserve tremendous artistic heritage, thus the contemporary art resembles a fusion of tradition and postmodernism. The scientific novelty of this work consists in shifting away from art discourse in studying artistic material and concentrating on philosophical perspective. The conclusion is drawn that since the 1980s until the present China undergoes a drastic period of transformation of art from traditional to contemporary. The works of that time reflect such themes as the alienation of a modern person from tradition, change in experience of world perception, conflict between modern politics and society.