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Contemporary art trends and news from Asia and beyond

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Posts Tagged ‘Xu Bing’

Which museums are collecting Chinese contemporary art? New database just released

Posted by artradar on November 22, 2009


MUSEUM COLLECTIONS CHINESE ART

The AW Asia gallery in New York has just released a valuable new resource for collectors and researchers intererested in Chinese contemporary art. Searchable by artist or museum its database, which is available online at no cost, lists Chinese artists held in permanent museum collections around the world.

According to AW Asia, the “Chinese Contemporary Art in Museum Collections” database is the first international compilation of its kind, which currently represents 42 contemporary Chinese artists and 67 domestic and international museums.

Artists include heavyweight internationally-recognised multimedia artists such as Ai Weiwei, Cai Guoqiang, Zhang Huan and Xu Bing, photographers such as Cang Xin, Hong Hao, Weng Fen and Hai Bo, ink artists Gu Wenda and Yun-fei Ji , Cynical Realist artists such as Yue Minjun, sculptors including Zhan Wang  and video artists Yang Fudong and Yang Zhenzhong.

AW Asia, a private organization in New York City that promotes Chinese contemporary art through institutional loans and acquisitions, curatorial projects, publishing, and educational programs.

Although the database is not yet comprehensive, it starts to shed light on which international museums are validating contemporary Chinese art. If you are a curator or museum representative with additional information regarding Chinese contemporary art in a permanent museum collection, AW Asia would like to hear from you. Please write to  info@awasiany.com

As the database is still under development Art Radar would like to suggest an additional feature:  a feed so that news sources can be alerted to the latest additions to museum collections. In the meantime, congratulations on creating a useful new resource.

Click to visit the Chinese contemporary art in museums database.

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SF/KCE

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Posted in Art Index, Chinese, Market transparency, Museum collectors, Research, Resources | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Singapore Tyler Print Institute – international art collaboration at world-class print studio – profile

Posted by artradar on November 4, 2009


CONTEMPORARY ASIAN ART ORGANIZATIONS

STPI

Metal Bull Year I, by Chang Fee Ming at STPI. Watercolor, acrylic, etching, gold leaf, on STPI handmade paper. 77 x 62 cm.

Art Radar remains devoted to sharing important and unique Asian arts institutions with readers, and few are as exciting as the Singapore Tyler Print Institute. Regular art fair goers may already be familiar with the institute, which is a fixture at many Asian art events. STPI is based (you guessed it) in Singapore, and stands alone in all of Asia as the only fully-equipped, artist’s printmaking and papermaking workshop. It was established in 2002 under the guidance of the American master printer Kenneth Tyler with support from the Singaporean government, and is a non-profit organization specializing in the publishing and dealing of fine art prints and remains dedicated to collaborating with extraordinary international artists. STPI boasts the foremost print and paper making facilities in the world for all the major printing techniques- lithography, intaglio, relief, and silkscreen printing, and continually attracts some of the most respected working artists to its studio.

Visiting Artists Program

One of the more interesting aspects of this organization is its Visiting Artists Programme, which offers residencies to 6 exceptional international artists each year, lasting 4 to 6 weeks. During this time, artists live on the premises in fully furnished apartments and can freely experiment with different print and papermaking techniques while enjoying unbridled creative freedom. This dynamic environment has produced a wide range of works, including ‘paper pulp’ paintings, paper assemblage, and mixed media pieces. At the end of the residency, each visiting artist’s new works are curated and shown in a solo exhibition at the STPI gallery.

Participating Visiting Artists

STPI strives for diversity in its range of visiting artists, and has hosted artists from the United States, China, France, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Singapore. Renowned artists, including Donald Sultan, Ashley Bickerton, Zhu Wei, Atul Dodiya, Lin Tian Miao, and Chun Kwang Young have particpated in this Visiting Artists Programme.

Artists who have or are currently participating in the residency program in 2009 include:

Agus Suwage (Indonesia)   Tabiamo (Japan)   Chang Fee Ming (Malaysia)   Thukral & Tagra (India)
Trenton Doyle Hancock (USA)   Guan Wei (China/Australia)

State-of-the-art Facilities

The STPI 4,000m2 facility is also extraordinary, featuring a modern printmaking workshop, a paper mill, an art gallery, an artist’s studio, and 2 fully furnished artists’ apartments. Many of the printing presses are customized to print on large format papers, and were designed and customized personally by Ken Tyler.

Collaboration with New York’s Asia Society

STPI participates in special projects each year in addition to its main programming. The most notable of these ‘special projects’ was a rare collaboration of New York’s Asia Society and STPI in 2006 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Asia Society. The effort produced  ‘Asian Contemporary Art in Print’, a limited edition portfolio of nine prints by respected Asian artists working in Asia, the United States, and Europe. This portfolio of works, curated by the Asia Society’s Museum Director and Curator Melissa Chui, was the first of its kind published by the Asia Society.

Artists featured in ‘Asian Contemporary Art in Print’ include:

Nilima Sheikh (India), Lin Tian Miao (China),  Amanda Heng ( Singapore), Wong Hoy Cheong (Malaysia), Navin Rawanchaikul (Thailand), Wilson Shieh (Hong Kong), Michael Lin (Taiwan),  Jiha Moon (Korea), Yuken Teruya (Japan), and Xu Bing (China).

Regarding the selection of artists, Melissa Chui comments:

“I wanted a selection of leading artists from across Asia as a representation of what’s happening today in contemporary Asian art.”

Other Services: Education, Art Collection Management, Studio Rental, Contract Publishing

In addition to hosting international leading artists and publishing their artworks, the institute also enriches the Singaporean community with public art education programmes. Furthermore, the STPI curatorial team offers a collection management service for private art collectors, and will digitally archive a collection, provide reports on the value of the artworks, recommend how to best preserve the art, and source new works for a collection. The print studio and gallery are available for rent on a daily basis. Also, if a gallery or artist needs to publish a series of prints, this can be achieved by collaborating with STPI’s professional printmakers.

Art Radar is pleased to see an innovative organization fostering creative dialogue with the international community, and suggests readers keep their eyes open, because you will likely see the Singapore Tyler Print Institute at Asian art fairs!

EW/KCE

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Posted in Art spaces, Connecting Asia to itself, Melissa Chiu, Nonprofit, Profiles, Singapore, Uncategorised | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Liquidity propels prices, Chinese Political Pop is back – Sothebys Contemporary Asian Art Auction 2009 Hong Kong

Posted by artradar on October 16, 2009


SOTHEBY’S AUCTIONS HONG KONG CONTEMPORARY ASIAN ART

Although called a Contemporary Asian Art auction, this sale was dominated by Chinese artists which was a canny move by Sotheby’s given that mainland liquidity is driving prices of property in Hong Kong to record high prices of US$1,000 per square foot and sending Chinese stock markets soaring. According to Bloomberg, Chinese money supply has grown by 55% since the beginning of 2007 compared with 20% in the UK and US.

Some of this liquidity has found its way into the art market at this auction. Mainland buyers were active and revealed some surprising preferences.

Hong Kong artists back in a second showcase

Sotheby’s followed up its inaugural and successful showcase of 8 Hong Kong artists in the ‘Spring auction earlier this year with an expanded selection of works by 10 artists. Affordable prices meant that all but two of the works found buyers with successful bids mostly coming in around estimates.

Simon Go, Hong Kong Old Shops, Inkjet on Bamboo Paper

Simon Go, Hong Kong Old Shops, Inkjet on Bamboo Paper

Works by two artists, sculptor Danny Lee and photographer Simon Go who were both new to the auction this year, did better than estimates. Danny Lee produces stainless steel sculptures which are reminiscent  – though in a more organic liquid form –  of the stainless steel scholar rocks made by the world-renowned sculptor Zhan Wang  whose works have been collected by institutions such as the British Museum . Danny Lee’s Mountain and Stream IV sold for HK$170,000 against a top estimate of HK$160,000 (before premium). (US$1 = HK$7.7)

Danny Lee, Mountain and Stream IV, Steel wood

Danny Lee, Mountain and Stream IV, Steel wood

Simon Go’s set of 2 photographic works called Hong Kong Old Shops: Wing Wo Grocery and Keng Ming Mirror Shop achieved a price of HK$80,000 against an estimate of HK$30-50,000 (before premium). This lot points to several collector trends. According to Larry Warsh, a New York-based dealer, there is a growing interest in Chinese photography and Wing Wo Grocery ( an image of a family clan in an old-style grocery shop from the colonial era recently shut down in preparation for urban renewal) embodies trends identified at an ArtInsight seminar last month called ‘Trends and Opportunities in Photography” . The panelists identified documentary photography and ‘slice of lif’e’ photography as hot areas for collectors now.

Zhan WangThe biggest story of the Hong Kong part of the sale was Tsang Tsou Choi’s calligraphy which saw excited bidding between several bidders in the room and on the phone resulting in a price (before premium) of HK$400,000 which was 8 times the lower estimate of HK$50,000. Work by this artist now deceased was also a surprising success in the Spring 2009 auction perhaps because of local media and public interest in the eccentric behaviour he displayed in his long art career.

Tsang Tsou Choi, Calligraphy, Acrylic on Canvas

Tsang Tsou Choi, Calligraphy, Acrylic on Canvas

In our Sotheby’s Spring 2009 auction post we wrote:

Tsang, Tsou Chin aka The Kowloon Emperor is a Hong Kong legend, famous for his calligraphy graffiti which he painted on public furniture. Undeterred by numerous warnings he roamed the streets for 50 years laying down his family genealogy and his personal history as an emperor in exile in blatant defiance of the Queen and English colonial rule. Deemed a lunatic by some, he was nevertheless recognised when in 2003 he became the very first Hong Kong artist to exhibit at the Venice Biennale.

Cynical Realist artists are back

In the next section of the sale a series of Chinese sixties-born artists, many from the Cynical Realist and Political Pop movements (Yue Minjun Feng Zhenghjie Zeng Fanzhi, Fang Lijun, Zhang Xiaogang) came under the hammer with hefty estimates of several hundred thousand and up to around $5 million per lot.

Yue Minjun, Hats Series - The Lovers, Oil on Canvas

Yue Minjun, Hats Series - The Lovers, Oil on Canvas

On a visit to London last month Art Radar heard several Western commentators describing Chinese art as ‘old’, ‘tired’ and ‘done’. This auction showed clearly that there are keen buyers for Chinese artists of this era who are willing to pay robust prices. Room bidders were mainly middle-aged Chinese men, who are perhaps collectors or more likely dealers for a growing middle class market in the mainland. Most lots in this section sold at estimate and some well above. Yue Minjun’s ‘Hats Series – The Lovers’ attracted several room bidders and a phone bidder eventually selling for HK$5.3m against a top estimate of HK$3.5m.

Institution-endorsed Chinese artists of the  fifties and sixties meet price resistance

Wang Keping, Untitled, Wood

Wang Keping, Untitled, Wood

It is no secret that Western critics regard some of the Cynical Realist artists as lightweight and lacking in intellectual rigour.  Instead major institutions such as the Royal Academy and British Museum in London have favoured and endorsed other mid-century born artists such as gunpowder artist Cai Guo-Qiang and Xu Bing, famous for his invented calligraphy . These artists sold well at lower price levels but lots with high estimates met resistance and failed. Cai Guo-Qiang’s Money Net No 2, part of Royal Academy of Art Project (estimate HK$4.7m – 5.5m) and Xu Bing’s Silkwom Series – The Foolish Old Man Who Tried to Remove the Mountain (estimate HK$5m – 5.5m) were bought in.

Frowns for part-increment bids

What we did see at this auction was a much stronger resistance by the two auctioneers in this marathon four-and-a-half  hour sale to partial bids. In recent auctions we have seen bidders make counter-offer bids at increments lower than standard. In the recent past these were accepted with alacrity by genial auctioneers. At this auction bidders were left waiting, frowned at and as often as not turned down.

Zhang Huan upset

Zhang Huan, My New York, Chromogenic Print

Zhang Huan, My New York, Chromogenic Print

Zhang Huan

, formerly a performance artist and more recently a sculptor and installation artist known for his works in ash and animal skins had 5 lots in the sale. Despite  backing by big-boy galleries in London and New York (Zhang Huan currently has an installation at White Cube in Picadilly London) four of his works including two sculptures and two chromogenic prints were bought in. The only work which was successful was a chromogenic print (numbered 3/8) recording his early endurance performance art which sees him running barefoot along the streets covered in raw meat. This work exemplifies another trend identified at the Artinsight photography seminar: growing interest in photographic documentation of performance art.

Sculpture mixed

Sculpture had a mixed performance. Apart from Zhang Huan’s two failed lots and one by Hong Kong artist Kum Chi Keung, there was a surprise pass on Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s pink polyester mannequin Self-Obliteration (estimate $550-650,000). Most of the rest of the ten or so sculptures including Wang Keping’s wooden female forms, Zhang Wan’s scholar rocks, kitsch sculptures by the Luo Brothers and Huang Yan and a run of five works featuring sculpted heads  and figures (by various artists) sold at or above estimate.

Li Hui, Amber Dragon, Neon and steel

Li Hui, Amber Dragon, Neon and steel

Two lots by neon and steel sculptor Li Hui (1977) were highly sought after and attracted across-the-room bidding. Both pieces were purchased by an Asian family who were active bidders in the preceding sale of South East Asian art. The family also acquired an acrylic on canvas by Japanese artist Hiroyuki Matsuura and another by Ryuki Yamamoto. Traditionally collectors’ interests cluster geographically and more often than not collectors prefer to buy their national artists though there have been signs of changes. Despite the recession there is still momentum  behind this trend of pan-Asia buying.

Chinese photography fluid bidding

A handful of photographs were scattered through the sale but the bulk was found in an eleven lot run in the middle.  This run featured sixties-born Chinese photographers such as Hai Bo, Hong Hao, Wang Qingsong, Huang Yan, Cang Xin and Sheng Qi who were active in the nineties and many of whom came to international prominence in 2004 with Christopher Phillips’ seminal exhibition Between Past and Future at the International Center of Photography in New York. Since then major US institutions have been collecting the work of this group as we reported in April 2009:

Hai Bo, Red Guard, Chromogenic Print and Gelatin Silver Print

Hai Bo, Red Guard, Chromogenic Print and Gelatin Silver Print

The J. Paul Getty Museum is the latest institution to add works by Chinese contemporary artists to its holdings. Others include New York’s Museum of Modern Art, which recently acquired 28 works for its photography collection, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and the Brooklyn Museum, as well as global institutions such as the Tate and the Pompidou Center.

“The acquisition of these works (Wang Qingsong, Hai Bo) affirms an important new direction for the Getty,” says noted photography dealer and collector Daniel Wolf, who helped establish the museum’s collection in the 1980s. “It reflects an interest in expanding the collection in this category.”

Prices were affordable and bidding was fluid. While editions were limited to the 8-20 range and many of the lots were made up of multiple images, sales were made at estimates which were surprisingly affordable. Most lots sold for between HK$40-75,000. Wang Qingsong’s triptych photograph Past Present, Future which sold at estimate for HK$260,000 was the exception.  One buyer snapped up several lots.

One upset was lot 765 by Cao Fei which was passed in. Her works are inspired by the internet, video games, role-playing and the virtual world and she has received wide coverage in London and beyond after a recent show at Battersea Power Station organised in conjunction with the Serpentine Gallery.

Japanese and Korean art

The sale was dominated by Chinese artists but there was a run of cartoon-style art, many by young Japanese artists, a third of the way through the sale which sold at prices HK$50-150,000. Heavyweight Japanese artists were priced much higher but did not always sell or meet the estimate.  Yoshimoto Nara’s It’s Everything sold at HK$3.3m compared with an estimate of HK$3.8-HK$5m. Work by Yoshitaka Amano (described by Time Out as ”the Japanese anime legend behind the Final Fantasy video game” and who attracted spirited phone bidding in the spring sale 2009) was passed in. Takashi Murakami was the exception achieving HK$520,000 for an untitled 1/50 edition screenprint carrying an estimate of just HK$50-70,000. Korean works also achieved mixed results.

Long long auction

The final run of 11 lots saw 6 passes despite affordable prices. This result is probably not worth analysing in depth as it likely had more to do with the numbing length of the 4-5 hour 2 auctioneer sale which saw a packed room of 200 or so dwindle away to 30 or 40 tired stalwarts at what felt like the dog-end of the sale. Perhaps Sotheby’s who charged for coffee and catalogues again this year is still in cost-slashing mode. Let’s hope that by next year there will be enough new money supply for a return to more coffee breaks and free coffee.

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Posted in Auctions, Business of art, Cai Guoqiang, Cao Fei, Cartoon, China, Chinese, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Artists, Japanese, Korean, Li Hui, Market watch, Photography, Sculpture, Takashi Murakami, Xu Bing, Yayoi Kusama, Yoshitaka Amano, Yue Minjun, Zeng Fanzhi, Zhang Huan, Zhang Xiaogang | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sovereign Asian Art Prize 2008 emerging artists on show in Hong Kong

Posted by artradar on October 29, 2008


ASIAN ART PRIZE

The Sovereign Asian Art Prize carries a first prize of US$25,000 and is in its 5th edition. This time the acceptance criteria have been broadened from all forms of painting to all forms of 2D media. Thirty finalists have been selected by a panel of experts from 1000 entries. A public prize is also awarded to the painting which receives the most votes from the public who attended the exhibition or cast their votes on the website.

The culmination of the prize is a public auction where it is hoped that funds will be raised to support charities and a ‘first of its kind in Hong Kong’ three year residency programme for international artists.

Judges are Uli Sigg (collector) Peter Aspden (Financial Times critic) Pamela Kember (art historian and critic) Victoria Lu(musem consultant) Pooja Sood(Director of Khoj Foundation) and Xu Bing (artist).

Finalists

Australia: Bundit Puangthong, Chris Wake, China: Collette Fu, Hou Yan Yan Hong Kong: Caroline Chiu, Chow Chun Fai, Man Fung-Yi, Gretchen So, Peter Steinhauer, Angela Su, Anothermountainman India:Seema Kohli, Indonesia:Terra Bajraghosa, Suroso Isur, Saputro Uji Handoko Eko, Japan: Yu Hara, Maiko Sugano, Noriko Yamaguchi Korea: Dongi Lee, Lim Taek Malaysia: Chan Kok Hooi, Hoo Kiew Hang, Myanmar: Mor Mor Philippines: Robert Langenegger Singapore: Mee Ai Om Taiwan: Chiu Chien-Jen Thailand: Jaratsri Prasongdee, Laura Spector, Sirat Ubolyeam Vietnam: Le Thiet Cuong

Radar’s picks

Lim Taek

Lim Taek

Korean artist Lim Taek’s work is inspired by 18th century traditional Korean black and white ink drawings. Tael transforms these into 3D sculptures made of plastic and Korean traditional paper which he installs in a gallery.  He then photographs animals trees rocks and people and places these images into the installation. His intention is to create a dreamlike sensation for viewers as they gaze at his imaginary world.

Maiko Sugano

Maiko Sugano

Japanese artist Maiko Suganowas nominated by Asia Art Archive. She is interested in bridging barriers and misunderstandings by seeking common ground across cultures. In 2002 Sugano was presented with the Jack and Gertrude Murphy Fine Arts Fellowship sponsored by San Francisco foundation. She also runs an artist residency house called ‘YomoYama House’.

Angela Su

Angela Su

This work ‘Amorpha Juglandis’ is part of a series and drawings and embroideries in a project entitled ‘Paracelsus Garden’ – an imaginary location inhabited by insects and plants which on closer inspection reveal themselves to be a bizarre juxtaposition of bones muscles and organs. This work takes the form of a moth which uses the cochlear (part of the human inner ear) and scapulas(shoulder blades) as wings. The entire work is embroidered with fine polyester filament on silk.

Noriko Yamaguchi

Noriko Yamaguchi

Noriko Yamaguchi was born in 1983 and her work crosses over the mediums of photography and performance art. In the ‘Ketai Girl’ series Yamaguchi wears a bodysuit made of cellphone keypads a comment on today’s society where people are in constant telephonic touch but ache for physical connection. In 2004 she received the Panel of Judges Award at the 21st Century Asia Design Competition held by Kyoto University of Art and Design.

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Posted in Australian, China, Chinese, Emerging artists, Handicraft art, Hong Kong, Hong Kong Artists, Human Body, Indian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Performance, Photography, Sculpture, Singaporean, Southeast Asian, Taiwanese, Thai, Thread, Vietnamese | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Book: Chinese Contemporary Art 7 Things You Should Know

Posted by artradar on October 23, 2008


BOOK OVERVIEW CHINESE CONTEMPORARY ART

Chinese Contemporary Art: 7 Things You Should Know – Melissa Chiu

In China today, contemporary art is readily available in public museums and private galleries in burgeoning gallery districts, and in three new art fairs in Beijing and Shanghai. Abroad, Chinese artists are the subject of museum retrospective exhibitions and grace the covers of international art magazines.

Chinese contemporary art has come of age; yet there are few reference books for the reader who wants a quick but precise history of the field. This book aims to fill that gap. Short and to the point, it is arranged into seven sections outlining the rudiments of Chinese contemporary art: what you need to know about the artists, the art market, and what can legitimately be called a new art movement, perhaps the first great art movement of the 21st century.

Sections:

  • Contemporary art in China began decades ago
  • Chinese contemporary art is more diverse than you might think
  • Museums and galleries have promoted Chinese contemporary art since the 1990s
  • Government censorship has been an influence on Chinese artists, and sometimes still is
  • The Chinese artists’ diaspora is returning to China
  • Contemporary art museums in China are on the rise
  • The world is collecting Chinese contemporary art

 Artists:

Weiwei AI(艾未未), Guoqiang CAI(蔡國強), Xin CANG(蒼鑫), Fei CAO(曹斐 b.1978), Danqing CHEN(陳丹青 b.1953), Zhen CHEN(陳箴), Xiuwen CUI(崔岫聞 b.1970), Lijun FANG(方力鈞), Mengbo FENG(馮夢波), Jianyi GENG(耿建翌), Dexin GU(顧德新), Wenda GU(谷文達), Bo HAI(海波), Duoling HE(何多苓 b.1948), Hao HONG(洪浩), Lei HONG(洪磊), Rui HUANG(黃銳), Yan HUANG(黃岩 b.1966), Yongping HUANG(黃永砅), Shan LI(李山 b.1942), Shuang LI(李爽), Tianmiao LIN(林天苗), Yilin LIN(林一林 b.1964), Wei LIU(劉煒 b.1965), Xiaodong LIU(劉小東), Desheng MA(馬德升), Liuming MA(馬六明), Zhilong QI(祁志龍 b.1962), Zhijie QIU(邱志傑 b.1969), Rong RONG(榮榮), Dong SONG(宋冬), Jianguo SUI(隨建國), Du WANG(王度), Gongxin WANG(王功新), Guangyi WANG(王廣義), Jianwei WANG(汪建偉), Jin WANG(王晉 b.1962), Jinsong WANG(王勁松), Keping WANG(王克平 b.1949), Qingsong WANG(王慶松), Shanzhuan WU(吳山專), Lu XIAO(肖魯 b.1962), Danwen XING(邢丹文), Bing XU(徐冰), Lei YAN(顏磊), Peiming YAN(嚴培明), Fudong YANG(楊福東 b.1971), Jiechang YANG(楊詰蒼 b.1956), Shaobin YANG(楊少斌), Xiuzhen YIN(尹秀珍 b.1963), Minjun YUE(岳敏君 b.1962), Fanzhi ZENG(曾梵志), Wang ZHAN(展望), Dali ZHANG(張大力), Huan ZHANG(張洹), Peili ZHANG(張培力), Xiaogang ZHANG(張曉剛 b.1958), Chunya ZHOU(周春芽), Ming ZHU(朱冥 b.1972)

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Survey of Chinese contemporary art at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Posted by artradar on September 8, 2008


CHINESE ART SURVEY MUSEUM to 5 October 2008

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art: Half-Life of a Dream: Contemporary Chinese Art

This selection of contemporary Chinese art from the Logan Collection reveals a spectrum of individual responses to the utopian dreams that have been driving Chinese society since 1949. Approximately 50 paintings, sculptures, and installations spanning 1988 to 2008 convey a sense of the shadows, masks, and monsters that have haunted the nation’s collective psyche during its process of modernization. The exhibition offers insight into the post-Tiananmen Square art and cultural scene, and features a diverse range of artists.

Artists include: Zheng Li, Zhang Xiaogang, Zhang Huan, Zhang Dali, Zeng Fanzhi, Yue Minjun, Yu Youhan, Yu Hong, Yin Chaoyang, Yang Shaobin, Yan Lei, Xu Bing, Wang Gongxin, Sui Jianguo, Sheng Qi, Liu Xiaodong, Liu Wei, Liu Hung, Lin Tianmiao, Li Songsong, Li Dafang, Gu Wenda, Fang Lijun, Cui Guotai, Ai Weiwei

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China refuses to lend art to Asia Society New York show 2008

Posted by artradar on August 22, 2008


SURVEY CHINESE ART NEW YORK September 5 2008 to January 11 2009
China has reversed its decision to lend Asia Society nearly 100 objects from Chinese museums for an exhibition that focuses on revolutionary Chinese art from the 1950s through the ’70s, scheduled to open on Sept. 5 in Manhattan, the society’s president said.

The Chinese Ministry of Culture had originally agreed to allow the society to borrow works for the show, “Art and China’s Revolution,” promoted as among the first comprehensive exhibitions devoted to that era and one that will examine the effects of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution on artists and art production in China.

Despite the Chinese government’s decision, Asia Society has decided to proceed with the show by seeking loans from private collectors.

The approach of the Olympics seemed to have been the deal breaker. “Initially, they said, ‘Any loans you want; no problem,’ ” said Vishakha N. Desai, the society’s president. “The closer it got to the Olympics, they changed their policy.”

“It has more to do with China’s desire and aspiration to be seen in a new light,” Ms. Desai added. “This is a time for celebration. They don’t want to be reminded of a difficult past.”

“To some extent, it’s better,” she said. “We don’t want ever to be seen as being sanctioned by the government.”

“Even though this is a period many would prefer to forget, it is nevertheless one that produced a visual culture that continues to permeate contemporary Chinese art,” Mr. Zheng said in a news release.

One section of the exhibition addresses artists who went against the prevailing style, including Pan Tianshou, Lin Fengmian, Zhao Yannian, Li Keran and Shi Lu, some of whom were persecuted and called “black artists.”

The show also includes works by a younger generation of contemporary artists, like Xu Bing, Chen Danqing and Zhang Hongtu, who attribute many of their artistic influences to their years spent in the countryside as part of their “re-education.”

Mao started the Cultural Revolution in 1966 to purge China of its bourgeoise elements and to advance class struggle. The revolution also represented Mao’s effort to regain control of the Communist Party from his rivals Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping after the Great Leap Forward. The conflict eventually devolved into a decade-long period of power struggles and political instability.

During the revolution, art was often used as propaganda to deliver a political message to a mass audience. Older artists sometimes adopted revolutionary themes; many others had their works destroyed and were persecuted. At the same time, some younger artists aspired to have their paintings become “model works,” mass-produced in posters and newspapers. The Asia Society exhibition seeks to capture the varied artistic ramifications of this political turmoil.

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Wang Huaiqing - Long live Gutian spirit 1967

Wang Huaiqing - Long live Gutian spirit 1967

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