“China China”: Artists of the Cultural Revolution and beyond – picture feast

Turning the global lens on contemporary Chinese artists.

PinchukArtCentre in Kyiv, Ukraine, hosts the exhibition “China China” from 18 May to 6 October 2013. “China China” features contemporary Chinese artists from various generations, spanning those who came of age during the Cultural Revolution to younger artists working today.

Zhao Zhao, 'Officer', 2011, limestone, 860 x 180 x 180 cm. Image courtesy PinchukArtCentre.

Zhao Zhao, ‘Officer’, 2011, limestone, 860 x 180 x 180 cm. Image courtesy PinchukArtCentre.

As stated in PinchukArtCentre‘s press release, “China China“, which includes the work of eleven artists and is arranged into eleven individually designated spaces, focuses on the tension between individuality and collective thinking.

“China China” is an exhibition about two Chinas, about the present and the past and about choices for the future. Dealing with the continuous search for history and with a reality that is shifting from local to a global context. It highlights the different approach in the generation of artists living through the Cultural Revolution, who find their subject in researching the past while dealing with the present, and the new generation, who engage in an uprooted society, moving forward into a new social-cultural future.

Chen Zhen, 'Purification Room', (2000), objets trouvés, clay, 350 x 800 x 650 cm. Image courtesy Ela Bialkowska, GALLERIA CONTINUA, San Gimignano/Beijing/Le Moulin.

Chen Zhen, ‘Purification Room’, 2000, found objects, clay, 350 x 800 x 650 cm. Image courtesy Ela Bialkowska, GALLERIA CONTINUA, San Gimignano/Beijing/Le Moulin.

The group exhibition comprises diverse multimedia works, such as the clay-covered found objects which make up Chen Zhen‘s Purification Room (2000); Seven Intellectuals in Bamboo Forest, Part I (2003), a single channel video by Yang Fudong; and the 2009 ash on linen painting Division Meeting by Zhang Huan.

Artists participating in “China China” include:

Zhang Huan, 'Division Meeting', 2009, ash on linen, 250 x 400 cm.. Image courtesy PinchukArtCentre.

Zhang Huan, ‘Division Meeting’, 2009, ash on linen, 250 x 400 cm. Image courtesy PinchukArtCentre.

Younger artists trending internationally

“China China” is not the only show in 2013 drawing attention to the work of a younger generation of Chinese artists, notes Bloomberg. Reporting on prospective trends for the December 2013 edition of Art Basel Miami Beach, the newspaper claims that

While the generation of artists who came of age during the Cultural Revolution has dominated the market in the 2000s, younger artists are starting to gain international attention.

January to April 2013 saw the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), Beijing, show “On | Off: China’s Young Artists in Theory and Practice”, which focused on emerging and mid-career artists born after the Cultural Revolution. Sun Xun, Zhao Yao, and Zhao Zhao participated in this exhibition and are also part of “China China”.

Yan_Xing, 'Modernist, Super-Modernist', 2012. Image courtesy Sergey Illin and PinchukArtCentre.

Yan Xing, ‘Modernist, Super-Modernist’, 2012. Image courtesy Sergey Illin and PinchukArtCentre.

In March 2013 the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation announced that with a major grant from the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation the museum will create a programme for commissioning new artwork by contemporary Chinese artists.

In 2012, Beijing-based Red Gate Gallery showed the exhibition “Two Generations – 20 Years of Chinese Contemporary Art” to commemorate the gallery’s twentieth anniversary. The group exhibition traveled to five spaces in Australia, including the University of Newcastle Gallery and Melbourne International Fine Art.

Yang Fudong, 'SEven Intellectuals in Bamboo Forest, Part I, (zhu li qi xian)', video, sound by Jin Wang, 2003, edition of 7. Image courtesy PinchukArtCentre.

Yang Fudong, ‘Seven Intellectuals in Bamboo Forest, Part I, (Zhu li qi xian)’, video, sound by Jin Wang, 2003, edition of seven. Image courtesy PinchukArtCentre.

The upcoming exhibition “Year of the Artist”, opening at Art Basel Miami Beach in December 2013, will include the work of blue chip Chinese contemporary artists such as Ai Weiwei and Zhang Huan, both of whom are also in “China China”. Miami-based collectors, Mera and Don Rubell, founders of the Rubell Contemporary Art Foundation, are organising the exhibition. In a phone interview with Bloomberg Mera Rubell offered a possible explanation for the current appeal of the next generation of China’s artists,

There’s a new generation of Chinese artists that is interesting to us […] They have the world view and they are also dealing with the transformation of China itself.

Cao Fei, 'In the Night Garden', 2010, multimedia. Image courtesy PinchukArtCentre.

Cao Fei, ‘In the Night Garden’, 2010, mixed media. Image courtesy PinchukArtCentre.

KK/CN/HH

Related Topics: Chinese contemporary artists, art and the Cultural Revolution, art across the generations

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“China China”: Artists of the Cultural Revolution and beyond – picture feast — 1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Kate Korroch » Blog Archive » “Supplementary Skins: the female nude in South Korean contemporary art” (Art Radar Asia)

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