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Posts Tagged ‘shanghai’

Tsong Pu discusses six artworks: Part III – On local recognition of local art and the cube redefined

Posted by artradar on September 15, 2010


TAIWANESE CONTEMPORARY ART INSTALLATION TAIWAN-CHINA RELATIONS ARTIST INTERVIEW

When Tsong Pu was studying overseas in the 1970s he would introduce himself as Chinese or as being from China. Later, as China opened it’s borders and more art from the country was exposed to the outside world, Tsong began to introduce himself as Taiwanese. Now, he introduces himself as a Shanghai-born artist who lives in Taiwan.

Cultural relations between Taiwan and China have always been complicated and the current success Chinese contemporary artists are enjoying globally generally outstrips that of artists who are living and working in Taiwan. Although originally from China himself, abstract artist Tsong Pu does not see much collaboration between the two countries.

“Each side does their own thing. At the moment you will find that very few Taiwanese artists show their work in Mainland China, in galleries or in museums. But you will find that many artists from China show their works in Taiwanese galleries or museums.”

Tsong believes that Taiwanese artists and art professionals need to work hard to change this situation, “to give collectors and buyers more confidence in Taiwanese art.” He goes on to state that the Chinese art market is created and supported by the Taiwanese collector.

“Much of the artwork coming out of China is being sold to Taiwanese collectors. The [Taiwanese] government supports Chinese artists, but the Chinese government doesn’t support Taiwanese artists.”

This view is expressed in the installation One Comes from Emptiness (2009, mixed media), which we discuss with Tsong in this article. Blake Carter, writing for the Taipei Times in November last year, talked about the piece:

“I was surprised to find that some of the ropes he installed at the Biennial fall onto a bent metal signpost that reads ‘Taiwan Contemporary Art Museum.’ There is no such place. Many artists complain that Taiwan’s museums – especially in the capital, and specifically the Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM) – don’t pay enough attention to the country’s artists.”

Blake went on to say that “Taiwanese artists are relegated to the museum’s smaller galleries downstairs while Chinese artists Fang Lijun, Cai Guo-Qiang and Ai Weiwei get large exhibitions at TFAM.” When asked by Blake whether One Comes from Emptiness was a comment on Taiwan’s art institutions and their treatment of Taiwanese art and artists, Tsong replied, “Yes.”

This is part three of a three part series. In this part we relay to you Tsong’s views on the artistic relationship between Taiwan and China and look at two further installations by the artist. Both of these works are tied to the artist’s signature grid pattern, the repetition of 1 x 1 cm squares often intersected with a diagonal line. This grid form is represented in the weave of the nylon rope in One Comes from Emptiness (2009, mixed media) and pulled apart and reconstituted in the separate canvases of Declaration Independence (first presented 1996, mixed media). For more on what to expect from the first and second parts of this series, please read the notes at the bottom of this post.

Tsong Pu, 'One Comes From Emptiness', 2009, mixed media installation, 10 x 1075 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.

Tsong Pu, 'One Comes from Emptiness', 2009, mixed media installation, 10 x 1075 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.

One Comes from Emptiness (2009, mixed media installation) was shown at Viewpoints and Viewing Points: 2009 Asian Art Biennial. In your artist statement for this exhibition you suggested that people from the West and people from the East will perceive this installation differently. Could you explain further?

“I tried to pretend that the rope is just like calligraphy: more natural and softer. This soft line is like Chinese calligraphy or Chinese traditional ink painting. When you see a Chinese courtyard, it makes you feel very natural, it’s soft…. It has something representing the water, the wind, the earth. I used very simple lines or string to create circles. These circles remind me of a Japanese courtyard, its oriental elements, and the lines are like the rain. A traditional Chinese courtyard always expresses these kinds of things. I tried to … merge [this] with Western style.

The steel part is more structural – it has more strength – and represents Western art expression: strong, energetic, long lasting. I am influenced by an artist from England called Anthony Caro who creates sculptures from steel.”

Why do the circles overlay the steel?

“At the very beginning, I tried to present only the circles and the simple white lines but I thought it was too beautiful…. It didn’t have any power. [The circles overlap the steel because] the nylon rope is soft and flexible. It can’t be cut or broken and it will flow over things. Of the material, you can see that one is soft and one is hard, so they contrast. That is the basic structure [of the work]. Different style, different shape, different material, different thinking. But when they come together they can merge.”

So they can exist together?

“Yes, yes. Together they can generate something new, a new way of thinking.”

Is there anything else you’d like to say about One Comes from Emptiness?

“This work was created in 2009. During this year a major typhoon hit Taiwan. This typhoon caused a landslide which covered a mountain village. Because of this event, the natural environment and the view of the landscape was changed. A house that has been moved or destroyed might not actually look so terrible in its new position. After you have viewed it for sometime, you might realise that it actually looks quite beautiful.”

Tsong Pu, 'Declaration Independence', 1996, mixed media installation, 480 x 260 x 360 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.

Tsong Pu, 'Declaration Independence', 1996, mixed media installation, 480 x 260 x 360 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.

We are interested in your installation Declaration Independence (first presented 1996, mixed media) because you showed it in 1996 and then again this year at your TFAM retrospective, “Art From the Underground“. Can you explain the relationship between the objects and each painting?

“The idea for this work comes from [Transposition of Light and Water (1992, mixed media installation)] but it is represented in a different space. I took one cube from this work and distributed it into several pieces.”

The way you have used the gallery space in Declaration Independence is quite different to how you have used it in other installation pieces.

“These are canvases, just like [The White Line on Grey (mixed media, 1983)] is a canvas. I used the same technique [to paint them both]. The ones that are the same are grouped together. The paintings are like different pages in a book; the pattern [on the canvases] resembles words without any special meaning.

This [coat hanging on the wall] is an object and this object has some dimension – it is 3D and not flat – but [the paintings] are flat, so when they are placed with the 3D objects they will have a conversation. The paintings are like a code and when I separate them in this way they are like the pages [of a book] on the wall.

The paintings have no meaning, but the objects may project some meaning onto them. Among the objects are some maps. When all these things are separate they have no meaning but when they are placed together they could have some meaning. I am not sure whether the paintings influence the objects, or the objects influence the paintings. When you open a book there is a lot of information in it. It is like this book on the wall has been opened and many things have started to happen. There is a conversation between [the paintings and the objects], a relationship.”

And is it you, the artist, who brings meaning to this book, or is it the task of the viewer?

“It should be both. I hope it is the viewer.”

Tsong Pu, 'Declaration Independence', 2010, mixed media installation, 480 x 260 x 360 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.

Tsong Pu, 'Declaration Independence', 2010, mixed media installation, 480 x 260 x 360 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.

About this series

This Art Radar interview with Taiwanese artist Tsong Pu has been presented in three parts. In part one, Master Tsong discusses two works in which he has used and adapted his most well known technique, a 1 cm by 1 cm grid pattern. In part two, the artist speaks on two very different installation pieces, close in date of construction but not in their theory of development. Part three talks about some of the artist’s most recent installation work.

We have also premised each part with some of the artist’s views on the current Taiwanese contemporary art industry, as developed from his roles as mentor, curator and master artist.

KN

Related Topics: Taiwanese artists, interviews, installation art

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Posted in Artist Nationality, Business of art, Collectors, Conceptual, From Art Radar, Installation, Interviews, Promoting art, Styles, Taiwanese, Themes and subjects, Tsong Pu, Z Artists | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Xu Zhen takes on Middle Eastern identities and cultures as the new artists’ collective alias Madeln at the Ikon Gallery, UK

Posted by artradar on June 16, 2010


MADEIN ARTIST COLLECTIVE CHINESE ART UK GALLERY SHOW

Seeing One’s Own Eyes is the first European exhibition by MadeIn, a new artists’ collective founded in 2009 in Shanghai by Xu Zhen (b. 1977, Shanghai), often heralded as one of the most important and renowned conceptual artists to have emerged from China since the 1990s.

While the work is all made in China, Madeln impersonates a fictional group of Middle Eastern artists, creating a kind of exhibition in disguise, “an exhibition of an exhibition.”  The use of this technique enables Xu to play down his personal identity.

Derived from “Made In”, two words that refer to manufacturing (with country of origin not specified), the name Madeln also phonetically translates into Chinese for “without a roof ” (‘méi d˘ı∙ng’), suggesting an openness to the collective’s work.

Through a range of media including sculpture, video and mixed-media installation, Madeln presents clichéd images of the Middle East, as a war-torn part of the world, associated with the oil industry, death, violence, human suffering and religious conflict. By raising issues of cultural perception, the exhibition encourages us to take a clearer view of current affairs in that region of the world.

The most recent work titled Hey, are you ready? (2009–2010) comprises of three large white sculptures made from polystyrene, one of the many by-products derived from the distillation of oil. These objects form neat, crisp packaging for the protection of loaded symbols including mosques, crescents, oil barrels and Kalashnikov rifles, revealed by negative space.

Spread (2009), a series of wall hangings covered with cartoon imagery, deal explicitly with the geographical politics of Israel, Palestine, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, China, Europe and the USA. Key political figures and scenarios are starkly drawn and exaggerated to billboard proportions, provoking and highlighting the often unconstructive and negative debates that are encountered in this area.

'Spread' by Madeln (2009) Mixed Media on Canvas, Courtesy the artist and ShanghART Gallery

'Spread' by Madeln (2009), mixed media on canvas. Courtesy the artist and ShanghART Gallery.

In Perfect Volume (2009) the toe-ends of combat desert boots create a circle on the floor representing a row of absent soldiers as imagined casualties. This references the eternity and infinity of the circle, and is further depicted in the piece Machine for Perpetual Motion (2009), a model of an oil pump, constructed meccano-style but made from razor wire. The energy needed for its movement is blatantly taken from an electrical socket.

The illusionary installation Calm (2009) is made of building debris, a carpet of bits of brick and rubble that is still at first glance. Slowly it reveals itself as animated, gently moving up and down as if it were breathing like the survivor of a bomb blast, trapped and awaiting rescue. This notion of destructive power also features in the low-level floor-based installationThe Colour of Heaven (2009), where mushroom clouds from atomic bomb explosions are placed under assorted glasses.

'The Colour of Heaven' by Madeln (2009) Glasses, painting Courtesy the artist and ShanghART Gallery

'The Colour of Heaven' by Madeln (2009), glasses, painting. Courtesy the artist and ShanghART Gallery.

The title of this exhibition refers to a verse in the Koran, “My way, and that of my followers, is to call you to God, on evidence as clear as seeing with one’s own eyes” (Sura 12, verse 108). Freely translated it is an opportunity for to reflect, a consideration of how we see – by “seeing one’s own eyes” – as much as what we see.

Seeing One’s Own Eyes” is a collaboration with S.M.A.K. (Belgium) and is on display at the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK, until 11 July, 2010.

Two other articles regarding Xu Zhen’s Madeln and “Seeing One’s Own Eyes”, when the show was on display in other international locations, are:

RM/KN

Related Topics: Chinese artists, venues – UK, gallery shows

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Posted in Art as meditation, Cartoon, Chinese, Conceptual, Consumerism, Events, Fact and fiction blur, Found object, Gallery shows, Illustration, Installation, Middle Eastern, Political, Sculpture, Shows, UK, Video, War | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Visual culture of Shanghai on show at San Francisco Asian Art Museum

Posted by artradar on June 9, 2010


SHANGHAI ART SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM SHOW

For a long time in the West, the image of Asia has relied on popular, and almost always Western, media imagery. From medieval travel literature to films in today’s time, the tropes of the orient repeat itself with every kung fu movie. At Shanghai, at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the image of China comes from the subject itself.

Taking a cue from the 30th anniversary of the San Francisco-Shanghai sister-city relationship, “Shanghai” presents a portrait of a city evolving over 160 years. Accompanying the exhibition are year-long festivals, concerts, workshops, film screenings, talks and discussions. The exhibition features more than 130 artworks including China Trade oil paintings, Shanghai deco furniture and rugs, movie clips, revolutionary posters, and video and contemporary art installations.

Nanjing Road – From Series of Views of Shanghai, after 1937. By Zhao Weimin (dates unknown). Chromolithograph on paper. Collection of the Shanghai History Museum.

Mirroring the life pulse of Shanghai over a century and half are its art and art objects. Neatly divided into four time periods, “Beginnings” (1850–1911), “High Times” (1912–1949), “Revolution” (1920–1976), and “Shanghai Today” (1980–present), the exhibition presents a rare glimpse of Shanghai’s visual culture in transition from a modest Chinese port town to a bustling cosmopolitan city.

The success as well as the challenge of this exhibition lies in presenting a complex and multi-layered visual culture within the framework of a linear narrative. Beginning with China Trade paintings from the 1850s, painted in large numbers to document the world of European colonialists, the exhibition moves forward to highlight artists from the Shanghai School who broke away from the traditional mode of landscape painting and created expressive and dramatic works for wealthy Chinese patrons. The later arrival of print technology lead to mass production and there are a number of posters and other graphic art on display, including the infamous large-format colorful government propaganda posters.

Landscape-Commemorating Huang Binhong-Scroll, 2007. By Shen Fan (b. 1952). Installation with lights and sound. Courtesy of the artist.

Landscape-Commemorating Huang Binhong-Scroll, 2007. By Shen Fan (b. 1952). Installation with lights and sound. Courtesy of the artist.

Shanghai Todaypresents a rare opportunity to interact with works produced exclusively by artists based in Shanghai. Embracing installation and video art, this section features some important Shanghai artists. A highlight of the show is Shen Fans 2007 installation Landscape-Commemorating Huang Binhong-Scroll, an homage to one of China’s great artists of the twentieth century. This installation piece utilizes computer-operated neon lights and music.

The city as a direct subject is very much present in the works of installation artists Zhang Jianjun (b. 1955) and Liu Jianhua (b. 1962). Both artists deal with the contemporary realities of Shanghai and its city space.

Zhang Jianjun’s work Vestiges of a Process: Shanghai Garden is an installation composed of two silicone rubber Taihu rocks, manufactured from molds of real Taihu rocks that are prized in traditional garden culture for providing city dwellers with symbolic access to nature. The rocks are accompanied by a silicone rubber vase and both are arranged on a pavement of gray antique bricks which have been acquired from the demolition of Shanghai houses constructed between 1923 and 1926. Visitors are invited to walk through the installation.

Shadow in the Water (detail), 2002-2008. By Liu Jianhua (b. 1962). Installation with porcelain and light. Collection of the artist.

Shadow in the Water (detail), 2002-2008. By Liu Jianhua (b. 1962). Installation with porcelain and light. Collection of the artist.

Liu Jianhua’s Can You Tell Me? consists of a series of stainless steel books suspended from a vertical wall. Each book presents two questions about Shanghai’s future, one on each page, that are translated into five languages: Chinese, English, French, German and Japanese. Ever-changing, propelled by its role as an economic powerhouse, the city suggests endless possibilities, some of which Liu asks visitors to contemplate.

For sometime now, the video format has been the preferred medium for many contemporary Shanghai artists and the exhibition closes with contemporary video art, one of the mediums in which Shanghai artists are taking a worldwide lead. Yang Fudong (b. 1971) is a contemporary video artist who features prominently in this section with three video works: City Light (2000), Liu Lan (2003) and Honey (2003). A celebrated photographer, videographer, and film maker, Fudong frequently explores feelings of longing and displacement. His works often focus on the lives of young urbanites who, despite possessing admirable qualities such as education or beauty, may not be well-adjusted to the environment in which they live.

Shanghaiis on at the Asian Art Museum (San Francisco) until September 2010. It has been co-organized by the Shanghai Museum and the Asian Art Museum, with assistance from the Shanghai International Culture Association.

AM/KN

Related Topics: Chinese artists, events – museum shows, venues – USA

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Posted in Chinese, Museum shows, Museums | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Short art courses in China, Indonesia, India, New York by Sothebys Institute Singapore

Posted by artradar on September 13, 2008


ASIAN ART COURSES October 2008 – February 2009

Each year, Sotheby’s Institute of Art – Singapore organises a number of overseas trips to major art centres, exhibitions, museums and collections in Asia. These visits are held in conjunction with the Master’s degree programmes in Art Business and Contemporary Art, and participants are taught alongside full-time international students.

Led by art experts from the region, each trip exposes the participants to the experience of art and objects in their historical context as well as provides an insight to the development of art in the region. Scheduled to coincide with key events and festivals, participants visit the major art centres in Asia, attend special talks by gallery directors, dealers and art professionals.

Travel Programmes 2008-2009

• China: Beijing & Shanghai:
Travel dates: 13-17 October 2008

• Indonesia: Jakarta, Yogyakarta and Bandung:
Travel dates: 12-17 January 2009

• India: Mumbai
Travel dates: 2-6 February 2009 (to coincide with the Mumbai Arts Festival)

• USA: New York
Travel dates: 2-6 February 2009 (to coincide with the Mumbai Arts Festival)
Travel dates: March 2009 (to coincide with The Armory Show)

Fees
The fee for all courses is SGD 4,500 (inclusive of GST). The fee covers all lectures, local transport, some meals, and admission to art galleries, events and museums. Participants are required to pay for their own airfare and accommodation. Discount 50% for 2nd person.

Source: Sotheby’s Institute Singapore

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Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair and Shanghai Biennale a double bill in September 2008

Posted by artradar on August 2, 2008


SHANGHAI CONTEMPORARY ART FAIR AND BIENNALE 9-13 SEP 2008

After a relatively well-received debut in 2007 – despite controversy surrounding the dealings of its former art director Pierre Huber – ShContemporary art fair will return to Shanghai from 9-13 September.

ShContemporary 2008 will gather together around 130 exhibiting galleries from 25 countries, ranging from Australia to the United Arab Emirates. Some 30 artists from the Asia Pacific region will also be presented in the Best of Discovery section, and there will be an outdoor exhibition of sculptures and installations at the host venue, the Shanghai Exhibition Centre.

For art lovers, this year’s fair comprises part of a double-header – with the 2008 Shanghai Biennale, entitled TransLocal Motion, taking place at the same time.

Source: Bizchinaupdate

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New York dealers PaceWildenstein, James Cohan open in China July August 2008

Posted by artradar on July 1, 2008


NEW YORK CHINA Two leading New York galleries are opening spaces in China this summer. PaceWildenstein will unveil its 22,000 sq. ft gallery in Beijing in August, while James Cohan Gallery opens a 3,000 sq. ft space in Shanghai in July. Both galleries are counting on the rise of the Asian art market and the proliferation of regional collectors.

Gallery owner Jane Cohan says: “We did very well with collectors from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Korea during the ShContemporary fair last year. Chinese collectors have traditionally been China-centric, but we believe that in time they will buy more broadly.”

Longtime Cohan director Arthur Solway, a fluent Mandarin speaker, will launch the venture in a 1930s garden villa in the Luwan district. He plans to mount six exhibitions a year, showing work by Bill Viola, Nam June Paik, Roxy Paine and Yinka Shonibare among other artists. The new space will be the first American gallery to open in Shanghai.

Meanwhile, Pace Beijing opens its doors in a former munitions factory in the Dashanzi 798 Art District in time for the August Olympics. The massive space is being renovated by New York architect Richard Gluckman. The inaugural show will include portraits by Zhang Huan, Zhang Xiaogang, Chuck Close, Alex Katz, Tim Eitel and Lucas Samaras.

Well-known art critic and curator Leng Lin is to become president of Pace Beijing. In 2004 he founded Beijing Commune, an alternative centre showing emerging and established Chinese artists such as Zhang Xiaogang, who is represented in the US by PaceWildenstein.

When asked about the 34% tax on imported art for mainland buyers, Pace Gallery director Peter Boris said: “Quite honestly it’s not that we expect to sell a lot of western art in mainland China initially. We want to present it and develop the market.” He added: “There are so many big question marks about doing business in China, but we think we have the best artists, a great space and someone extraordinary to run the gallery.”

Mr Boris also hopes the Chinese artists will respect their exclusivity with the gallery: “Right now we are the sole agents of Zhang Huan and Zhang Xiaogang in the US and hopefully we will be that in Asia. We believe that by placing their work in great collections, and keeping it away from speculators, we can convince the artists we have a good management model.”

Source: http://www.theartnewspaper.com/article.asp?id=8056

For more on dealer expansion in Asia https://artradarasia.wordpress.com/2008/06/15/globalisation-of-asian-art-galleries-gathers-pace/

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Japanese 80’s Generation Artists, Andrew James, Shanghai

Posted by artradar on June 28, 2008


CHINA JAPANESE GROUP EXHIBITION JUNE JULY 2008

Exhibition Title: “If You’re Happy, Clap Your Hands”

Artists born in the 80’s are called the “Jelly Generation” in China referencing both their material wealth and their mentality. This is a group exhibition of Japanese ‘”Jelly generation” artists from the 80’s , who express their creativity in a fantastic, ironic and sweet way. Their artworks allow us to realize that happiness cannot be found in materialism but is always around us. Why don’t we clap our hands together?

Artists: Miyuki Akiyama, david, Ikumi Nagasawa, Ai Ryumon, Osamu Watanabe, Yu Yasuda
Dates: The exhibition runs from the 28th June – 27th July 2008, open Tuesday to Sunday 11am-7pm.
Website: http://www.andrewjamesart.com

Image details: Artist Osamu Watanabe         Source: www.art2bank.com

 

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MoCa Shanghai presents events in Berlin, Shanghai, Helsinki summer 2008

Posted by artradar on June 4, 2008


CHINA Through summer 2008, MoCa Shanghai presents a series of events in Berlin, Shanghai and Helsinki called Night on Earth, a name taken from the contemporary film by Jim Jarmusch where events take place at the same time with similar themes in different locations across the world. It aims to encourage collaboration between the public as well as local and national artists through music, performance and visual installations.

Source: http://www.mutualart.com

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