Prior to the grand opening of the 13th Shanghai Biennale “Bodies of Water” this fall, the Power Station of Art is going to hold “Shanghai Waves: Historical Archives and Works of Shanghai Biennale” from July 31 to November 15, 2020, representing more than sixty works by 51 domestic and foreign artists and groups, including paintings, installations, videos, etc. Most of these exhibits are from the collection of previous editions of the Shanghai Biennale held in the China Art Museum,Shanghai and the Power Station of Art. The exhibition is built on two cross-referential documentary threads, which serve as the development course of the era linked up by major events, and personal objects, photos, materials and other documents at the courtesy of many artists. By converging personal memories into a historical narrative framework, the exhibition shall present the history of the Shanghai Biennale with feelings and evolutions, in order to inspire and enlighten viewers by revisitng the past and considering the present in the post-pandemic period when they are forced into a slowdown and standstill.
Artists participating in this exhibition are: Moinak Biswas, Chang Qing, Chen Junde, Chen Shaoxiong, Chen Zhen, Willem De Rooij, Ding Yi, Fang Lijun, Regina Jose Galindo, Gu Wenda, Hong Hao, Hu Xiangcheng, Huang Yongping, Ji Dachun, Leandro Katz, Liang Shaoji, Liang Shuo, Liu Qingyuan, Liu Wei, Luo Yongjin, Mao Yan, Yasumasa Morimura, Bird Head, Qiu Anxiong, Qu Fengguo, Raqs Media Collective, Shang Yang, Surabhi Sharma & Tejaswini Niranjana, Shen Fan, Gagandeep Singh, Wang Tiande, Weng Fen, Cell Art Group, Xia Junna, Xia Yang, Xiang Liqing , Xiao Qin, Xu Zhen, Yan Peiming, Yang Zhenzhong, Zhang Enli, Zhang Huan, Zhang Jianjun, Zhang Peili, Zhang Yu, Zhang Zhenggang, Zhou Changjiang, Zhou Chunya, Zhou Tao, Zhou Tiehai, Zhou Xiaohu (in alphabetical order)
History and Evolution of Shanghai Biennale
Founded in 1996, the Shanghai Biennale has become one of the most important international art biennales after 24 years of academic persistence by generations of art museum professionals. It is not only a biannual international art event, but also an important source of urban renewal and cultural production in Shanghai.
The initial intention of the Shanghai Biennale was very simple, that is, to build a platform for Chinese artists to effectively communicate with the world, and to open a window for Chinese audience to understand the world’s most cutting-edge artistic thinking and creation. Fang Zengxian (1931-2019), initiator of the Shanghai Biennale, wrote in his word to the first Shanghai Biennale, “China should have its own international art exhibition. In order to achieve two-way selections and equal exchanges in a real sense, it is a noble ideal of art, and also the only way in history.” The 1st Shanghai (Fine Art) Biennale “Open Space” mainly displayed easel paintings by domestic painters, and many of them applied mixed materials to experimental artworks. In addition, the exhibition featured the installations by Chinese artists Chen Zhen, Gu Wenda, and Zhang Jianjun, who are active overseas.
Since its establishment, the Shanghai Biennale keeps to the path of continuous self-innovation and exploration, with its root set in Shanghai. “With Shanghai as the matrix, it will practice a series of propositions in a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary way in the development of an Eastern city” (Xu Jiang). In 1998, the 2nd Shanghai (Fine Art) Biennale “Inheritance and Exploration” consisted of two main sections “Inheritance and Exploration” and “Absorption and Integration”, which analysed and demonstrated the new dynamic of ink and wash as a traditional Chinese medium under the current cultural context,“Inheritance and Exploration” and “Absorption and Integration”. In 2000, the 3rd Shanghai Biennale made a major breakthrough by building on the previous two exhibitions. It removed “Fine Art” from the title of the biennale, and started to widely include more diverse forms such as installations and videos. At the same time, the Shanghai Biennale established the curator system and invited international curators and artists into the Shanghai Biennale, allowing difference voices to rise and constructing positive conversations Since then, the Shanghai Biennale has become China’s first international biennale in the real sense. In 2004, the 5th Shanghai Biennale “Techniques of the Visible” established a “News Center” in order to reach a wider range of audience through media publicity across multiple channels, which had effectively increased the number of visitors over the past sessions. In 2006, the 6th Shanghai Biennale “Hyper Design” officially established the Shanghai Biennale Organizing Committee and launched the official website. In 2012, the Shanghai Biennale moved its venue to the Power Station of Art. With the establishment and implementation of the Academic Committee and Chief Curator Systems, the Shanghai Biennale took the opportunity of “reactivation” to develop jointly with this building which was known as the Nanshi Power Plant in the memory of the city.
The Shanghai Biennale encompasses a rich variety of themes. In 2002, the 4th edition “Urban Creation” described the current development of new urban architecture in China and the lifestyle of urban residents. In 2004, the 5th edition “Techniques of the Visible” was dedicated to introducing the image technology in visualization, as well as the multiple relationships between technology and humanities. In 2006, the 6th edition “Hyper Design” took off from design to reduce opposition between art and practicality. In 2010, the 8th edition “Rehearsal” observed the Expo host city Shanghai from the perspective of the “Expo Theater”. “Rehearsal” is an experiment conducted to discover multiple possibilities at this moment, and to build the Biennale Theater into a multi-domain and cross-media public scene. The exhibition theater has become a multi-domain and cross-media public scene. The Shanghai Biennale Exhibition has now become a platform for interdisciplinary collaboration and cross-media dialogue. The topics and impacts involved have radiated to wider domains such as urban studies, philosophy, sociology, and anthropology.
Shanghai, an international metropolis that took the lead in embracing modernity, provides the Shanghai Biennale with a fertile soil for organic growth, and constantly motivates curators and artists to think. In 2000, Hou Hanru, co-curator of the 3rd Shanghai Biennale “Shanghai Spirit”, believed that the core of Shanghai spirit lies in its “cultural openness, diversity, hybridity and positive innovative attitude”. This biennale regards the development process of Shanghai as a unique modernity and explores the cultural positioning of contemporary cities in the context of globalization. In 2008, the 7th Shanghai Biennale “Translocalmotion” focused on “people”, who are workers, migrants and residents in this rapidly developing city. In the main project, the exhibition invited about 20 domestic and foreign artists to conduct field research on the iconic “People’s Square” and take it as a starting point for creation. In 2014, the 10th edition “Social Factory” shifted its attention from Shanghai’s social phenomena to the core of its modern social structure. In 2018, the 12th edition borrowed the word “Proregress” from the American poet e. e. Cummings and ancient Chinese mythology to look into the relationship between the world’s faster growth and artists’ creative practice.
The Shanghai Biennale has been actively interacting with the city where it is staged, tapping into the hinterland, and moving the exhibition space to streets and alleys. In 2012, the 9th edition “Reactivation” initiated the City Pavilion project, inviting more than 30 cities from all over the world to participate in the exhibition, and distributed their masterpieces to historical buildings along the Waibaidu Bridge—Yuanmingyuan Road—North Sichuan Road—East Nanjing Road. In 2014, the 10th edition “Social Factory” continued the concept of City Pavilion for the exhibition “City Workshop”. It selected the cultural and commercial representative “Huaihai Road” and the extended public space as a subvenue of City Pavilion, artistically activating the most dynamic art corridor in Shanghai. In 2016, the 11th edition “Why Not Ask Again” lasted for three months, when it discovered and observed personal stories in the City Project “51 Personae”. In 2018, the 12th Shanghai Biennale “Proregress” created various sections such as “City Exhibition Hall”, “City Cinema”, “City Archaeological Team”, which provided the public with a unique life perspective and further explored the distinctive humanistic charm of Shanghai.
“C” is the symbol of the current idol culture and a product of the values of the new era. “C”, in whichever configuration it is displayed to the public, will always forge a kind of energy that exists in the form of idols, music, art et cetera, with unlimited possibilities. Contemporary art also contains formidable energy.
The exhibition came into existence through the initiatives of ROCKET GIRLS 101 MENG MEIQI & RISE ZHOU ZHENNAN, and the creations for the theme “C” by artists CHENG RAN x MARTIN GOYA BUSINESS, He Xiangyu, Liao Fei, Shi Zheng, Tan Tian and XU ZHEN. The exhibition is fittingly presented at thevenues of TANK Shanghai which allows the audience to not only feel the energy from vvCn and the idols in the exhibition space，but also experience the energy brought by TANK Shanghai and the artists.
“C”: Digital Interactive Art Experiment promotes the communication between contemporary art and society in diverse ways in the hope of pondering, through this exhibition the value-role that art should be ascribed in the process of continuous social development. As a pioneering and multifunctional contemporary art institution TANK Shanghai believes that art and creative experiments are an essential driving force in the society as of today.
Wild Cinema: Reshape the city with youthfulness, and redesign it as your artwork
What can contemporary art do to battle against the COVID-19 pandemic? Here comes the answer: looking for the new definition of art to help people survive the epidemic, and having an art carnival in the city core to calm people. Guided by the enthusiastic young generation, we reorganize the virus-stricken art world and create its new rules with creative practice.
Wild Cinema, the first opening group exhibition of iag, is fiercely landing at TX Huaihai | Youth Energy Center on June 12th, 2020. The new concept of “Contemporary Art Cinema” has endowed the exhibition with the long-delayed city mission of contemporary art: reshape the city with youthfulness, and redesign it as your artwork. It aims to provide the city core of Shanghai with immersive art experiences. When surrounded by artworks, visitors can go beyond the physical boundaries of art gallery, art space and other art forms, and thus build their fresh inspiration into the system of contemporary art.
The contemporary art cinema hopes to answer the following questions: in concert with this generation of young people, how can contemporary art discover and publicize their experience, ideas and careers? What should it do for them? What can young people do when invited to appreciate art works? How can exhibition encourage young people to get energetically involved in learning and living, and take a leading role in the artistic business, thus incubating a new city core with their youthfulness.
Empower young people, and inspire the new force with freedom and crossovers, thereby creating the new art, new industry as well as the new business of the city core. To achieve that, we offer them the Wild Cinema to refresh their soul, reveal their lives, provoke their innovative thinking and exhibit their worlds.
The Wild Cinema exhibition will soon spread all over the country after the very first exhibition to be held at TX Huaihai | Youth Energy Center, where more than 20 artists will kick the tires of the decommercialized shopping mall for young people. Visitors are invited to engage in the large-scale interactive installations to construct their own art scenes, and create their own art. Also, Cc Art Museum will build a priceless, unique and exclusive contemporary art cosmos, placing an academic contemporary art museum into the city core to popularize the youthfulness and the contemporary art, so as to demonstrate that contemporary art is a reflection of the city’s space-time extension. It can awaken the city core with artworks and reinvigorate it by offering each citizen the appreciation of beauty:
- turn their individual space-time into artistic works；
- model artistic works after their city’s space-time；
- write their own lives in the city’s stories, like street musicians’ depicting their harsh time with grief or joy in their compositions.
Performance’s only life is in the present. Performance cannot be saved, recorded, documented, or otherwise participate in the circulation of representations of representations: once it does so, it becomes something other than performance. To the degree that performance attempts to enter the economy of reproduction, it betrays and lessens the promise of its own ontology.
—— Peggy Phelan
In the eyes of a performance fundamentalist like Phelan, once this medium degrades to the object of reproduction of images would be fully degenerate. Behind this, one would likely find its supporting position of “dematerialization,” advocated by the second avant-garde art movement. Where the medium is isomorphic to capitalism – only that such ideology seems somewhat flimsy before the realities of a new medium. Since the 1960s, performance became integral to media art, in the swings of live experience and reproduction, presentation and representation, we come to realize that what was once referred to as the classic “performance art” often preserved in a mediated form. Video art is undoubtedly one of the critical loops. Recorded performance or performance videos derived into many complicated forms, the interactions between the body and technological media bring together two different types of discourse, where the organic and the artificial, the immediate and the documentary, the flesh and the screen generate unavoidable friction and integration. These are the points of departure for this exhibition.
What “Embodied Mirror” attempts to explore is the intimate exchange between video art and performance in the history of Chinese contemporary art. At its inception, video art in China was integral to performance art. With time passing through the camera lens, Zhang Peili’s 30 x 30 (1988) allowed the viewer to observe the body objectively, from which to arrive at the impact of its metaphorical effects. Thereon, in the development of video art in China, many artists have adopted strategic approaches to extend the mediums of video art and performance for one another. This exhibition presents five themes, “Autobiography,” “Event,” “Dancer,” “Speaker,” and “Theater.” Each topic will address an independent clue in combing through the diverse and complex phenomenon of this overlapping domain.
“Embodied Mirror” points to the fact that video art does not necessarily provide the “stage” for performance, but a “mirror” or “exit” to access the world. It does not necessarily emancipate the body or to isolate it from the confines of social and historical discourses, but provides new strategic device or decoder. Where the body becomes the embodiment of “eternity” and “transmission” in the context of moving image, and the medium becomes a new scenario of life. At the same time, the subject’s response to reality translates into a shared media sensibility.
“Word”, either in its spoken and written form, is an ancient method of information transmission, a carrier of historical records, and is also considered as an invention in the history of technological evolution. In the general contemporary visual experience, the word comes in the form of subtitles, voice-overs, advertising slogans, plain texts, captions, prefaces, and curatorial statements. The words attach meanings, and so is of value, and helps communication. The word can be edited, typeset, bolded, italicized, copied, pasted, and is the name of Microsoft’s iconic software. In this exhibition, the viewer does not see the object pointed to by the “named” words, rather, words are just words and they proliferate. Here, the word is fixed. It can be without meanings, but it is placed in the foreground, like an image to make itself visible.
James Cohan is pleased to present James Cohan: Twenty Years, a special group exhibition celebrating the gallery’s twentieth anniversary. On view from November 1 through December 20 at James Cohan’s Tribeca and Lower East Side gallery spaces, the exhibition will feature new or historical works by every artist in the current program. James Cohan will host opening receptions on Friday, November 1 from 5-7 PM at 291 Grand Street and 6-8 PM at 48 Walker Street.
James Cohan opened on West 57th Street in the fall of 1999 with an exhibition of early work by Gilbert and George, followed by the gallery’s first exhibitions with artists Trenton Doyle Hancock, Robert Smithson, Fred Tomaselli, and Bill Viola. The gallery moved to 533 West 26th Street in 2002, where it mounted important exhibitions by artists including Spencer Finch, Beatriz Milhazes, Yun-Fei Ji, Yinka Shonibare CBE, Xu Zhen, etc. More recently in Chelsea, the gallery presented exhibitions by newer additions to the program such as Kathy Butterly, Federico Herrero, Mernet Larsen, Lee Mullican, and Elias Sime amongst others. James Cohan operated an additional location in Shanghai, China from 2008 through 2015. This space functioned as a locus of cross-cultural exchange, introducing American and European contemporary art to a Chinese audience.
In November 2015, James Cohan opened a second New York location at 291 Grand Street. Its inaugural exhibition in the Lower East Side neighborhood was a revelatory exhibition of early Robert Smithson drawings. This location has allowed the gallery to expand its dynamic programming with focused and experimental exhibitions of gallery artists and curated shows.
The gallery’s twentieth year marks an exciting new chapter in its history, beginning with the relocation of its flagship space to 48 Walker Street in September. This new location opened with an exhibition by Josiah McElheny, his first with the gallery. In this new space, James Cohan will present upcoming exhibitions of recent additions to the gallery roster, including Teresa Margolles, Firelei Báez, and Grace Weaver.
James Cohan: Twenty Years will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue that documents the achievements of the artists in the program, to be published in Spring 2020. Featuring an essay by Gregory Volk alongside contributions from several gallery artists, this major publication commemorates the gallery’s rich history and bright future, celebrating the artists who have made it all possible.
Participating artists include:
Trenton Doyle Hancock
Tuan Andrew Nguyen
The Propeller Group
Yinka Shonibare CBE
Alison Elizabeth Taylor
In late October 2019, “Advent” the first contemporary art exhibition ever held in Qianshao Bay, will open. The exhibition will gather thirty-one famous contemporary artists from China and abroad. More than forty paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, land artworks will be presented in the Contemporary Art Center and landscapes of Qianshao Bay.
Within this high-tech era we are now able to accumulate materials and tools in abundance, yet we still yearn for a safe habitat, worrying and questioning ourselves “will the world be fine?” Facing fierce urbanization and rural construction, the globalization of China’s urban and rural areas is accelerating vertiginously, and it is therefore time that we ask ourselves from the perspective of a village: how do we build an ecosystem starting from a village? What kind of Earth do we need? What kind of future do we want to create? In Qianshao Bay – this new land offered by nature – artists will invent landscapes and produce the Earth through their works, integrating Qianshao Bay’s new ecosystem to their reflexion and realize a certain future, it will be an art-ecosystem action compelled by the future.
The exhibition will fully explore the various aspects of this rich ecosystem located on Chongming Island, in the Yangtze River estuary, including: the new territory of the estuary, the history related to this sci-fi environment, land exploitation in socialism history, collective agricultural life and the national ecosystem model teaching of this new era as well as its opening to the world, among others. The exhibition will survey the undefined nature of this ecosystem, and will strive to turn it into an ecosystem theater, placed in front of the people of the country, inviting everyone to see what kind of ecosystem programs can be achieved, and attempt to involve everyone’s ecosystems. This contemporary art-ecosystem exhibition will constitute a demonstration for each individual own’s ecosystem theater model. Philosopher Lu Xinghua describes this art-ecosystem show in these words: “the exhibition imagines that a contemporary art viewer suddenly arrives in Qianshao village, at the frontier of Chongming Island and finds out that he/she is in an ecosystem theater, and that he/she is the protagonist and has to pursue his/her acting⋯”.
Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art is pleased to announce the launch of A Turning Moment: Urban Narratives in Chinese Contemporary Art, 1995-2019 from October 18 to December 15, 2019. Curated by Azure Wu, the exhibition, featuring the intersection of public space and contemporary art practice, responds to Chinese contemporary art practice themed on urban streets since mid-1990s. During the exhibition period, contemporary art works covering painting, photography, video, sculpture and installation from 17 artists are slated to be on display both inside the museum and outside the museum, on Duolun Road. The exhibition is free to the public.
Themed as A Turning Moment, the exhibition focuses on the artists’ progressive journey through the city streets, walking and wandering. Showing the artists’ critical thinking on social environment, urban space and people, their works present individual and collective memories and experiences, and bring changes to everyday life.
In the 1990s, with the acceleration of China’s urbanization process, artists started to pay attention and explore urban public space. They have changed the way they used to perceive and intervene in public space and further expanded the scope of cultural and aesthetic expression. When art enters into places or territories where people are familiar with, streets not only keep the record of tracks of artistic concepts and practice changes but also become the witness of city development and public culture, which highlights the peculiarity and significance of community life. The exhibition attempts to build a bridge between museum and community, artist and public with art.
A special project called Archives of Dial 62761232, A Portable Exhibition will be introduced to the public at the same time, which is its first time to be presented in the domestic museum. BizArt initiated a special take-out exhibition in September, 2004, in which 42 artists as well as 15 deliverymen took part. During that exhibition, Shanghai citizens could call express company to ask a deliveryman to bring the exhibition in a suitcase. 15 years passing by, we will review the inspiring art project through archives of that year to show the artists’ unique vision and foresight in times of great change and redefine the relationship among art, public and the city. Great thanks to Shanghart Gallery for the literature files.
The exhibition will participate in the joint exhibition of 2019 Shanghai Urban Space Art Season and 1+16 Sharing Program of Museums and Citizens. Aiming to upgrade art aesthetic education, this event is part of an ongoing effort to constantly improve the internal aesthetic and humanistic quality of citizens.
We hope to attract more citizens to participate in the interaction through the art works of various kind, expanding thinking space for the development of Duolun Road. Perceiving the texture of contemporary cities, digging into details of modern life, stimulating creative thinking, here, artists and visitors are all modern city walkers, making it possible to reshape urban space and public life.
“Free Prism Video Wave” traverses the changes in Chinese video art over the past 30 years from beginning with the liberation of ideology and enlightenment since the 1980s to the global consumerism era nowadays, inviting 17 artists who active in different periods and influential as well as representative in the field of video creation. The exhibition tries to pass through the longitudinal timeline and emphasizes the investigation of outstanding creative individuals, which not only traces back to the rich folds and facets of history, but also presents the refreshing and exciting ideas brought about by the current social and technological process.
Have you eaten?
For SGA`s re-opening and re-launch, for the first time in the history of Three on the Bund, a major exhibition will take place throughout the whole building – Pal(ate)/ette/.
From September 20th – October 31st, over 100 objects by 69 artists will be displayed in a salon-style exhibition within SGA and peppered throughout Three on the Bund`s restaurants and bars, in dialogue with the exhibits and their surroundings.
The exhibition also marks the debut of nrm`s curatorial project as Artistic Director of the new SGA.
Pal(ate)/ette/ will show artworks throughout Three on the Bund with the exhibition`s core display in SGA. Curated by nrm, Pal(ate)/ette/ reflects the spectrum of associations of the homonyms Palate and Palette; a synthesis of the senses – taste sight hearing smell and touch – and presenting Three on the Bund as a cultural whole.
The exhibition title relates to two homophones. While ‘Palate’ refers to the ability to distinguish between and appreciate different flavours related to food as well as relishing its taste, ‘Palette’ denotes a broad range of colours or simply the board upon which artists mix pigments. Both symbolise the most significant motif in Pal(ate)/ette/, both as metaphor and experience.
Pal(ate)/ette/ involves two distinct but intertwined worlds, those of taste and color. These worlds interact to create relations between the artists, artworks, and the halls and salons of Three on the Bund, and Shanghai itself. The exhibition explores the richness of aesthetics and materiality in colouration and the sensuousness of food and its ingredients, as medium, subject matter, in its devouring, and as communicative and social habits, experiences for which Three on the Bund is famous. The exhibition is a sumptuous journey that delights us into imagining anew the limitless ways to plunge into uncanny and alluring experiences that tease our senses of sight, smell and space, immersive experiences, encompassing and meditative. This fluidity brings the artworks to resonate with each other, adding to and ultimately enriching one another.
Pal(ate)/ette/ finally is a journey through synesthesia. Colour and taste are always elements of the experience of art and food, affecting the sensations of the person moving in and through the show as much as ordinary life. Pal(ate)/ette/ embodies this.
Wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling, in corners and cabinets, Pal(ate)/ette/ does not merely serve the cause of art, food and drink. It is a social organ with a life of its own, a meandering walk through Three on the Bund, its history, restaurants, and its gallery, to stimulate and engage a wide range of artgoers, eaters, drinkers and conversationalists, cultivating awareness from an amalgam of expressive invention and poetic association, memory and madeleine.
THEN celebrates the great adventure of White Rabbit’s first decade: ten exciting years of showcasing the creative energy, daring and technical accomplishment of Chinese contemporary art. The gallery’s tenth anniversary exhibition presents works by more than 60 artists, all produced during the first ten years of Judith Neilson’s private collection (2000-2010). Some were highlights of the very first White Rabbit exhibition, in 2009.
Sweeping social change at the end of the 20th century meant that Chinese artists at the start of the 21st century found themselves in a world that had been utterly transformed. The responded by embracing new influences from overseas and from within China. Re-examining and reinventing Chinese art traditions, playfully fusing them with the best of international contemporaneity, they created an eclectic mash-up of past and present, and east and west.
Their provocative work celebrated – and satirised – a society in flux. A fire-engine red, pig-like care with an 11-metre protruding tongue; a giant pair of pink, neon-lit underpants with a soundtrack of Shanghai love songs; a dusty minivan that ‘breaths’; an installation of 1500 knitted strawberries – the sheer inventiveness of artists revelling in new-found freedoms challenged cliched perceptions of China. From embroidered portraits of grinning world leaders to American and Chinese flags made of corporate logos, the artists in THEN examine the paradoxes of a nation on fast forward.
The first decade of the ‘Chinese century’ was the moment that Chinese contemporary art exploded into the international arena. THEN tells the story of White Rabbit’s first, boldly adventurous decade – a journey into the unknown that parallels the ambition and audacity of contemporary Chinese art.
THEN is drawn completely from Judith Neilson’s renowned White Rabbit Collection.
The works in this exhibition varied from paintings, sculptures, installations, to new media works. Behind the different presentation ,curator reveals the similar explorations towards the concept of dreams. Artists with unique creation inspired viewers to think under context of current society, conflict and reconciliation. Through the exhibition, audience can make infinite and boundless imagination and reflections, and engage in the multi-dimensional experience.
Art Basel brought together 290 premier galleries, presenting works ranging from early 20th century Modern art to the most contemporary pieces.While galleries from Europe continued to be strongly represented, the show featured returning and new exhibitors from across the globe, including Asia, Europe, North and South America, the Middle East, and Africa.
Unlimited once again offered galleries the opportunity to showcase monumental installations, sculptures, video projections, wall paintings, photographic series, and performance art that transcend the traditional art fair stand.
Extreme Mix – 2019 Guangzhou Airport Biennale, curated by Jiang Ning and Lu Mingjun with Xu Zhen and Fan Bo as art consultants, will officially open to the public on June 1 at Guangzhou Wings – Airport Cultural Town, a rising community of art and culture that builds upon Fenghe Village, Renhe Town of Guangzhou’s Baiyun District. The contemporary art feast will run for three months before it wraps up on August 31.
The biennale gathers 81 artists/collectives from both home and abroad, putting on display more than 100 pieces/groups of artworks that cover various genres like painting, installation, sculpture, videography and performance. Among them, more than 40 are specially commissioned for the exhibition by building on the exclusive local cultural landscape. The event will also debut 6 pieces/groups of large-scale installations by celebrated artists like Olafur Eliasson and Yayoi Kusama that have never been exhibited in China before. In addition, several pieces/groups of artworks will remain at Fenghe Village as a permanent scene, empowering contemporary art to involve itself with the community and the villager’s day-to-day life.
For the inaugural edition of the Guangzhou Airport Biennale, in hopes of creating a locally-based “cultural hybrid” and unique landscape, its curatorial team is committed to exploring a brand-new “biennale plus” mode, which promotes the organic integration between regional folk culture and contemporary art .
Extreme Mix: Empower the cultures in rural area with contemporary art
Picking “Extreme Mix” as the theme of the first Airport Biennale, curator Lu Mingjun notes: “Thanks to its suburban location and unique ecology, the Airport Cultural Town stands out as a ‘cultural hybrid’ in China’s urbanization process”. Being both a community with rich traditional culture and China’s first portal city that opened to the globe, Guangzhou, the city where the Airport Biennale will be held, is also featured by its hybridity.
Lu continues to point out that ‘hybridity’ has been a common discourse and feature in the global contemporary art scene, which has also risen to become a cultural logic of globalization. This is the reason why Lu hopes to re-convey avant-garde cultural dynamics against today’s dwindling globalization and mounting barriers by presenting Extreme Mix.
Jiang Ning, one of the curators of the Biennale, had a part of his life spent in Guangzhou’s Renhe Town during the 1990s. Compared with China’s economic take-off over the past three decades, many Chinese villages like Renhe Town have, however, been revealing an increasingly impoverished state regarding their cultural life. Therefore, Jiang believes that the Airport Biennale will help to instill cultural confidence into Renhe Town in the best possible approach. He says: “We hope that the biennale can help foster a cultural and artistic atmosphere for Renhe Town, make a positive impact on the locals’ way of thinking and transforms this place into a cultural landmark where art events keep taking place.”
Innovation of Exhibition Modes: A “biennale plus” approach
Cultural Inheritance: Respecting local customs and natural environment
Extreme Mix – 2019 Guangzhou Airport Biennale is also committed to exploring a new “biennale plus” mode – it offers four theme programs, namely “Site-specific Spatial Intervention”, “Creative Bazaar”, “Traditional Culture” and “Airport Elements”, to fully showcase the binding power of public art. At the same time, it also embraces a “3+365” timeline to ensure a truly long-lasting art event – “3” represents the months that the exhibition is set to last and “365” symbolizes the plans of art institutions, such as ShanghART Gallery, MadeIn Company and Zhang Ding Control Club, to sustain their presence at Renhe Town for at least a year. It demonstrates the curatorial team’s unremitting efforts to synergize local and non-local art institutions with the purpose of establishing an academic and cultural atmosphere for contemporary art in Guangzhou.
Throughout the installation process, the biennale bears in mind that the natural and cultural landscapes of Renhe Town shall not be subjected to any forced changes. It seeks to preserve the indigenous culture of Lingnan Area, including local sceneries, customs and dialects, while maintaining the integrity of artists’ creative threads. Given such a precondition that the right of local villagers shall be fully respected, the biennale has successfully stimulated a direct link between artistic creations and the features of local culture and space, which also renders a sense of continuum to these artworks.
Works by artists Fan Bo and Qiao Xiaoguang will be kept as permanent experienceable exhibits, while Bi Rongrong’s Ideal & Useless Space (II) not only further extends her exploration over retail space, but also uses a new form of landscape to metaphorize the long-term fermentation beneath the specific architectural façade of handshaking buildings. Other artists that have contributed to the renovation of Fenghe Village’s handshaking buildings include Ding Yi, Lu Pingyuan and Li Naihan.
Meanwhile, the biennale wishes to throw light on the value of contemporary art by incorporating it with local buildings and commercial industry by means of presenting site-specific artworks for renovated spaces, aiming to promote and diversify the local economy. For example, GOLD CAN MOVE THE GOD, a provocative installation by artist Zhang Ding, not only inherits the artistic and experimental attributes of his creative series, but also creates sustained commercial values for the town as the bar will continue to run in the future.
40,000m2 outdoor open space that presents artistic and cultural congregation for airport town
The majority of this year’s Airport Biennale will be hosted at the outdoor open space of Guangzhou Wings – Airport Cultural Town, where the curatorial team divides the more than 40,000-square-meter space into four area (A, B, C and D). The renovated Hongyi Ancestral Temple in Area A shelters works by celebrated artists; Area B stages around ten large-scale outdoor installations; Area C houses a concentration of site-specific installations, which belongs to the special curated “Site-Specific Spatial Intervention” program that takes the compatibility between artworks and space into consideration.
Area D is reserved for the biennale’s new media exhibits, where 14 new media spaces have been co-established by artists to renovate the village’s long delipidated houses. The contrast thus presented will not only impose visual impact upon the spectators, but also initiates contemplation and experimentation upon contemporary culture. Works from more than 30 artists, including Wu Juehui, Ge Yulu, Tatsuo Miyajima, Ryan Gander and emerging artist Steph Li, a former teamLab member will be on display. Exhibits installed at the new media area stands out by offering a young perspective into contemporary art forms, triggering new sensual experiences atop buildings that have witnessed the ups and downs of several generations.
The Airport Biennale will also present a special unit – “Fenghe Impression Exhibition” which features the cultural heritage of Fenghe village. Lingnan’s folk culture will be embodied through popular forms, creating a new linkage between the village and its historic heritage.
However, the Airport Biennale targets at not merely a short-lived art feast. It proposes disruptive and visionary imaginations that are well-aligned with local realities. In a macro-environment where art dynamics can be leveraged to revitalize regional economy, the biennale will take advantage of a mode that differentiates from other international art exhibitions. The unique concepts and organizational forms aim to establish a new, unique focal point that caters to the airport town’s history, function and characteristics.
The Great Regression of globalization and neoliberalism signals the beginning of a most revolutionary and subversive era since the last century. German scholar Heinrich Geiselberger perspicaciously suggests, “While the blank spaces on the maps had grown smaller and smaller over the centuries, things now appear to be going in the opposite direction. In the age of Google Maps there are a growing number of territories of which one knows very little and which ancient cartographers would have marked with the Latin phrase ‘hic sunt leones’.’
“Hic sunt leones” was used to denote unknown territories on maps in ancient times. Dangerous beasts such as lions, dragons and serpents were believed to roamed the realm. Thus, this expression is also used when suggesting perilous territories where only brave pioneers would dare to enter. It could also mean “no civilized men here”, “prohibited territory”, and quite literally, “here be lions” etc.
It was a prophecy made by the west but has today become the global political situation. In other words, we have long been swept along by it. In China, ‘hic sunt leones’ means much more. Without a doubt, we find ourselves in a more complicated context. It could even be said that ‘hic sunt leones’ is no longer the fulfilled prophecy but the reality itself, and has been the reality for a long time, only that the lurking “extraordinary things, feats of strength, disorder, spiritual beings” and “the violence apparatus” would not wait in the dark any longer for their chance but have become explicit and reckless, threatening our everyday life, our thinking and even life itself.
In the early stage of the last century, the outburst of irrationality and brutality urged European intellectuals such as Sigmund Freud and Aby Warburg to focus their research on the inherent darkness and the desire for annihilation in the human. A century later, an even more brutal globalization gives rise to a new wave of political paranoia which again shatters the rational promise of a world of shared values. We are
compelled to confront ourselves with the following: how do disturbed and fragile individuals perceive the arrival of a new era of fission? How do they inscribe and react in the face of fear and anxiety about irrational violence and an uncertain future? And, will they become the brave adventurers who step onto a new “prohibited” territory of life?
“Hungry lions don’t hurt the real king” is an old adage that still inspires the benighted to this day. The exhibition begins with the prelude “Leviathan’s Ghost”. It proceeds with the narratives of the three sections: “The Promising Land”, “I Thought I Saw Murderer”, “The World of the Hard and Soft” and ends with “Manifeste?”. A total of almost 40 works by 31 artists and artist groups provide us with multiple covert perspectives and dimensions for sensing and thinking. What seems to be a grand subject is actually inescapable and the most urgent issue at the present time, that is, how do we reexamine the relationship that individuals have with the state, the world, and the political paranoia? A relationship that is, amongst others, strung out and divisive. And how does this relationship reshape our sensing mechanism and our world view?
The exhibition coincides with the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of Rosa Luxemburg’s death. Her revolutionary thinking and action, especially her criticism against Lenin are particularly worth savouring. Unlike Lenin, for Luxemburg, revolution is not a utopian construction by mechanical rationality but a form of action as life’s process. As James C. Scott stated, “almost all strictly functional, single-purpose institutions have some of the qualities of sensory-deprivation tanks used for experimental purposes.” Today is no exception and what we have to do is no other than winning back the freedom of perception in a time of varying forms of autocracy and chaos.
SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, the 14th edition of Sharjah Biennial (SB14) commenced on Thursday at the Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF) Art Spaces in Al Mureijah.
SB14, held this year under the title ‘Leaving the Echo Chamber’, will feature three distinct exhibitions; Zoe Butt’s exhibition Journey Beyond The Arrow; Omar Kholeif’s Making New Time and Claire Tancons’ Look for Me All Around You.
SB14 features over 80 established and emerging artists from around the globe, including over 60 new commissions, as well as many never-before-seen works that will displayed in various locations across the emirate of Sharjah, the Mureijah Square and the Arts Square, as well as in SAF’s studios in Al Hamriyah, in the East Coast city of Kalba and other spaces in Umm Al Quwain.
The Sharjah Art Foundation is also organizing the 12th edition of the March Meeting 2019, from 9 -11 March, 2019 at the Sharjah Institute of Theatrical Arts in Al Mureijah, which will include panel discussions, performances, films and artistic productions, in line with the themes of the three exhibitions at SB14.
SB14 will also feature independent film screenings for film lovers in the UAE; as well as educational programs, aligned with this year’s theme ‘Leaving the Echo Chamber’.
Programs intended for adults and children include workshops on photography, drawing, writing and theatrical performance. Other workshops for ‘People of determination’ provide a variety of topics on photography skills, puppetry, drawing, musical instruments and Islamic art; while the schools and youth centers’ program offers a set of workshops and field trips on topics such as abstract art, architecture and storytelling.
SB14 is made possible through the generous support of Van Cleef & Arples (Gold Sponsor) and Crescent Petroleum (Silver Sponsor). In-kind support is offered by Sharjah Municipality, Sharjah Roads and Transport Authority; Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority; Bee’ah, the Dubai Economic Department; the Institut Français in the UAE and the Institut Français in France.
The Sharjah Biennial is the most important cultural event in the Arab world and, since its inception in 1993, has been instrumental in supporting the arts landscape in the UAE and the region.
Shanghai, China’s leading nancial center. In recent years, due in part to the local government’s push for urban planning, there has been an increase in art-related facilities and other events on the former site of the Shanghai World Expo, and a succession of lively and vigorous cultural activities that surpass those in the capital of Beijing. Needless to say, there are international events such as the Shanghai Biennale, large-scale art fairs, and an endless array of exhibitions held at numerous galleries and museums. In addition, there is a lively art scene extending throughout the city, such experimental exhibitions and other activities held on an everyday basis in a variety of ordinary spaces including commercial facilities.
This exhibition introduces a total of 13 individuals and groups, ranging from masters who played historically signicant roles in the formation of the current art scene in Shanghai to a new generation of young artists, including some whose work has never been shown in Japan. We trust that these numerous highly stimulating works, including everything from the exceptionally large three-dimensional piece to new media works made with cutting-edge technology, will give you a taste of the feverish art scene in our rapidly changing neighbor to the west. It is our hope that this exhibition will enable viewers to encounter present-day Asia while also enhancing interest and understanding, and that it might also lead to an even closer relationship between our countries in the future.
This edition of the Paiz Art Biennial—one of the world’s ancient biennials—will be organized under a radical concept. Contrary to the general use, it will not have a theme; or rather, its theme will be its own methodology. The Biennial will not build its purport by discussing a single issue, but through a model of action. It has been conceived as a contextual and inclusive biennial, rhyzomatic, decentralized in space and time, and more communicative with the public. The Biennial will thus consist of a constellation of different activities that will overflow Guatemala City and will take place throughout the country, and even beyond its borders, in collaboration with different artist-run spaces, institutions, events and other agents, going beyond the art world. The notion of “beyond” will be precisely the axis of action for the Biennial.
The event will focus on artists and projects of Guatemala and of its geographic region, although not exclusively. It summoned an open call to Guatemalan artists, from which several works and projects were selected and will be announced shortly. The Biennial will keep some of its usual exhibition spaces in downtown Guatemala City to present artworks and events that will go beyond circuits, traditions, poetics, and established schemes, or will address issues of transgressions, transfers and overflows. This approach will include the exhibition of posters of the H.I.J.O.S. social movement, which usually displays them on the walls of downtown Guatemala streets to denounce the forced disappearance of thousands of people during the armed conflict. Other examples are the exhibition Life, by war photographer Gervasio Sánchez; a video by artist Xu Zhen; a large installation of his Third World Spaceships by Simón Vega; an installation with drawings on the walls and interactive light artifacts by Ricardo Lanzarini, and the screening of Julio Hernández Cordón’s fiction films. Other works and documentation resulting from the Biennial’s urban and community projects will be shown.
Beyond the white cube
Following Guatemala’s strong tradition of socially oriented art in the public realm, the Biennial will have a broad presence outside auratic spaces. Among the artists who will undertake projects in this direction are Tania Bruguera, Alejandro Paz and Gervasio Sánchez in Guatemala City, Manuel Chavajay in San Pedro La Laguna (working with the community), Magdalena Atria in Rabinal, and Humberto Vélez, who will organize an event in Sumpango involving their typical giant kites and other local traditions. As part of the Biennial’s important community-oriented program, Jesús “Bubu” Negrón will work with young people of the Manuel Colom Agrieta settlement, where the population makes a living of recycling material from the adjacent landfill site. René Francisco Rodríguez will also work with people in vulnerable situations.
The Biennial will try to stimulate self-managed projects that have been organized by artists in different locations in Guatemala in conjunction with their communities. It will thus support collaborative communal joint ventures with Canal Cultural, in the San Pedro La Laguna area, and with Kamin in San Juan Comalapa. Professor and theoretician Alberto López Cuenca will visit Ciudad de la Imaginación, in Quetzaltenango, for a seminar, while artist Ricardo Lanzarini will give a workshop there. Performance artist Alexia Miranda will contribute a workshop with children in the Beluba Luba Furendei center in Livingston, on the Caribbean coast. In addition to these decentralizing efforts, a solo show by Diana de Solares will take place at the Spanish Cooperation Training Center in La Antigua. The Biennial will even expand beyond Guatemala’s borders, with a residence and an exhibition by Sandra Monterroso taking place at Los Carpinteros Studio in Havana, and other possible collaborations in Mexico City and Bogotá.
The Biennial will develop an autonomous education program, which will not be limited to Fundación Paiz para la Educación y la Cultura
“One could almost say that the 20th century was summed up a little early, in 1989, even as history since has proceeded apace.”
—Wang Hui, Historian
Art and China after 1989 presents work by 71 key artists and groups active across China and worldwide whose critical provocations aim to forge reality free from ideology, to establish the individual apart from the collective, and to define contemporary Chinese experience in universal terms. Bracketed by the end of the Cold War in 1989 and the Beijing Olympics in 2008, it surveys the culture of artistic experimentation during a time characterized by the onset of globalization and the rise of a newly powerful China on the world stage. The exhibition’s subtitle, Theater of the World, comes from an installation by the Xiamen-born, Paris-based artist Huang Yong Ping: a cage-like structure housing live reptiles and insects that coexist in a natural cycle of life, an apt spectacle of globalization’s symbiosis and raw contest.
For art and China, the year 1989 was both an end and a beginning. The June Fourth Tiananmen Incident signaled the end of a decade of relatively open political, intellectual, and artistic exploration. It also marked the start of reforms that would launch a new era of accelerated development, international connectedness, and individual possibility, albeit under authoritarian conditions. Artists were at once catalysts and skeptics of the massive changes unfolding around them. Using the critical stance and open-ended forms of international Conceptual art, they created performances, paintings, photography, installations, and video art, and initiated activist projects to engage directly with society. Their emergence during the 1990s and early 2000s coincided with the moment the Western art world began to look beyond its traditional centers, as the phenomenon of global contemporary art started to take shape. Chinese artists were crucial agents in this evolution.
Art and China after 1989 is organized in six chronological, thematic sections throughout the rotunda and on Tower Levels 5 and 7. For all the diversity the exhibition encompasses, the artists here have all sought to think beyond China’s political fray and simple East-West dogmas. This freedom of a “third space” has allowed for a vital distance, and a particular insight, as they contend with the legacies of Chinese history, international modernism, and global neoliberalism of the 1990s. Their rambunctious creativity can expand our ever-widening view of contemporary art and inspire new thinking at a moment when the questions they have faced—of identity, equality, ideology, and control—have pressing relevance.
This exhibition is organized by Alexandra Munroe, Samsung Senior Curator, Asian Art, and Senior Advisor, Global Arts, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; with guest cocurators Philip Tinari, Director, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; and Hou Hanru, Artistic Director, MAXXI, National Museum of 21st Century Arts, Rome.
This is Shanghai
This is Shanghai, explores and celebrates the relationship between Liverpool and its twin city in China, to reflect urban and cultural evolution and transformation through ten leading and emerging contemporary artists from China. Presented by Culture Liverpool in partnership with Open Eye Gallery, the works are staged at locations across Liverpool’s iconic Waterfront. The Cunard Building plays host to the This is Shanghai gallery and pieces will also be shown at Tate Exchange Liverpool, Mann Island and the Museum of Liverpool. With select works also exhibited within the public realm, this project has been developed to explore and reimagine Shanghai’s everyday reality, within the city of Liverpool.
Taking place at the same time as the 10th Liverpool Biennial, This is Shanghai is the second of three chapters of China Dream, a festival designed to explore and understand contemporary Chinese culture, the celebrations for Liverpool 2018, marking the city’s tenth anniversary of holding the title of European Capital of Culture in 2008. Curator Jiang Jiehong is originally from Shanghai and has lived in the UK in 1998. Travelling regularly and working between the two countries in the last some twenty years, he has a unique understanding of cultural differences and exchanges. In this project, Jiang has invited artists Liang Yue, Lu Pingyuan, Shi Yong, Xu Zhen, Yang Fudong, Yang Zhenzhong, Yu Ji, Yuan Gong, Zhang Peili and Zhou Xiaohu, who are either Shanghai natives or those who have migrated from the rest of China, to present an impression of Shanghai’s dynamic urban life and complex cultural identity to British audiences.
The exhibition introduces 43 international artists and represents the exploration of creative medium and artistic language of contemporary art. These artists reconstruct the relationship between subject and object in digital age through more than 60 pieces of visual arts, fashion, installations, sculptures, new media art, etc.This exhibition attempts to discuss the concept of physical substances,production processes, renewable forces , cycle of life and to re-examine the role of matter in everyday life.
Rhizome—Autonomous Research Exhibition of Chinese Contemporary Art is a funded project in 2017, curated by Today Art Museum and supported by Beijing Culture and Art Foundation.
This exhibition attempts to contemplate the unique path of Chinese contemporary art under the background of globalization. “Rhizome” is likened to a complex cultural metaphor and thinking model of nomadic theory, representing an open, non-central, irregular and diverse form and vitality with unlimited growth. The “rhizome” precisely describes the characteristics of Chinese contemporary art—growing continuously in integration and generating differences in growth. This exhibition focuses on these three perspectives: Multiplicity and Symbiosis, Continuity and Fission as well as Nonlinearity and Recodification.
This exhibition uses artists’ case studies as entry point and confirms eight exhibiting artists through selection: Sui Jianguo, Wang Luyan, Hu Jieming, Jiang Jie, Ni Haifeng, Xu Zhen and MadeIn Company, Jiang Zhi and Gao Weigang. They represent the art of different periods and their works cover a wide range of media including sculpture, photography, video, installation and painting. It teases out and presents the nodal works of eight artists and the changing trajectory of the concept behind the works of art. Artists’ thinking and practices reveal their relationship among idea, form, language, art noumenon, cultural context and social reality. There is not only the macro and micro analysis as well as the exploration of concept and language, but also the manifestation of sociality and art noumenon.The characteristics of artistic creation of every artist are intensively summarized as the following key words—Memory, Paradox, Consume, Materiality, Refraction, Transgression, Poetic and Interchange.
Therefore, this research exhibition of Chinese contemporary art using eight cases as an entry point cannot summarize and show off the whole picture of its artistic vitality, but rather expands the issue and meaning through such a propositional exhibition.
A landmark can be a feature of aesthetic interest the natural landscape – ocean, mountain, temple, or an office tower within the cityscape. It can provide a wayfinding or gathering. Through the presentation of monumental installations, Lankmark speaks to both the literal, symbolic and social ways in which we look back on our histories, understand our present or envision our futures. The exhibition includes works from well-known artists such as Xu Bing, Huang Yongping, Sun Xun and YANG Fudong, and others b spanning different generations, perspectives and practices. Together, these works inspire dialogue about markers of time and space that has shaped our present.
On 16 December, 2017, UCCA collaborates with Shanghai Aegean Place to present the large-scale public art project, “Mirroring,” inviting 20 artists in China and abroad to create a series of entirely public artworks spanning the mediums of paint, installation, video art, site-specific art, and performance art, all based on Shanghai Aegean Place’s unique structural characteristics and geographic qualities.
Art spaces and artworks change with each new development in science and technology, and the position of the audience in relation to these changes reveals the aesthetic and social standards of the time. The city is both the medium and intermediary for today’s art. Urban planners distribute space both to direct people and flows of production and consumption. Within the city, large-scale shopping complexes are nodes for the social exchange of knowledge, information, tastes, and purchasing power. The shift from large department stores to shopping complexes and malls reflects the rapid industrial or post-industrial changes happening in the contemporary megacity. Shopping centers—the cradle for and result of material accumulation, and also meeting place for today’s urban culture—now exhibit the characteristics of museums or art galleries. Within the shopping center physical, spiritual, and social space are combined into one: artistic practice intertwines with viewers’ expectations, providing a unique and integrated style that traditional exhibition venues cannot hope to match.
“Mirroring” explores the relationship between space and history, while responding to the new cultural considerations emerging from the collision between different cultural systems. The artworks included in “Mirroring” take the form of advertising images or moving bodies to hint at the mutually linked fates of countless individuals, or use contradictory visual clues and continuous dislocations to present a rich sensory rhetoric, or whose unique dimensions explore the changing relationships between subjects. “Mirroring” is both artwork and production: both the embodiment of an urban community and a place for this community to ask questions. The hope the project harbors is two-sided—hope that that viewers will be intellectually satisfied by, and inspired to co-create the meaning of, the art they view; and hope that artists can reflect on how art may contribute to urban regeneration, making cities and neighborhoods more vivid and hopeful, transforming Shanghai Aegean Place into a place to search for new experiences, and a site to develop links between audiences from different communities. By being seen, art becomes a mirror, reflecting back at us our imagination of and expectations for our era.
Tang Contemporary Art Beijing is proud to announce the opening of “Compounds of Aura,” a exhibition for artists He An, Xu Zhen-Produced by MadeIn Company and Zheng Guogu, and curated by Lu Mingjun on December 3, 2017.
Religious feeling and aimless movement do not resolve He An’s daily anxiety and impetuosity; they often collide, creating sparks of inspiration and almost-forgotten textures. Xu Zhen (MadeIn Company) unexpectedly transformed the four-thousand-year-old monument of Stonehenge into a stage for Chinese traditional martial arts performance. Giorgio Agamben called this an aura space—a mystery that cannot be expressed. However, the“compound” nature of this exhibition also tells us that this is not a personal mysticism, and not purely metaphysical.
Water Mill, New York – On Saturday night, July 29, 2017, a star-studded crowd of more than 1000 guests joined Robert Wilson and The Watermill Center in celebration of ‘FLY INTO THE SUN,’ the Foundation’s 24th Annual Watermill Center Summer Benefit & Auction. Presented for the first time by famed French High Jewelry Maison Van Cleef & Arpels, the sold out event honored Laurie Anderson and Isabelle Huppert in tribute to the late musician Lou Reed. All proceeds from the event benefit The Watermill Center’s Year-Round Artist Residency and Education Programs.
Sporting the evening’s dress code of “Dark Shiny Matter,” luminaries from art, architecture, fashion, music, performance and Hollywood were greeted by adorned tapestries by New York- based artist Jared Madere and specialty cocktails titled “After Hours” by Tequila Don Julio. Guests ascended up The Watermill Center’s grass-lined terraces to “the knee” of the building for a performance by Somos Monstros (Raúl de Nieves & Erik Zajaceskowski) followed by more than 20 site-specific works and performances curated by Noah Khoshbin and Ivan Cheng in tribute to Lou Reed’s life and work, positioned throughout the Center’s 8.5-acre grounds.
Among the showstopping works included a 90-foot wall featuring, the politically charged black and white text reading She Outwits Him / She Outlives Him on the north side while the south facing side of the structure served as a platform for free artistic expressions by young Summer Program Participant artists, Jokubas Nosovas, Nikitas Broukakis and Sam Khoshbin, as well as attendees who left their own multi-colored marks in spray paint. With the sun setting in the backdrop, performances highlighted along a tiki torch-lined path included Storyboard P’s Formless Expressions, Kate Gilmore’s Beat, Nile Harris’s Monkey on His Back (Love Laboratory) featuring a man nearly buried under a towering pile of bananas, Stephen Shanabrook’s performance of a headless man with cotton candy left for brains, and a chilling performance piece titled Salute by Croatian artist Vesna Mačković, as well as works by artists including Dana Davenport, Rachel Frank, Christopher Knowles, Xu Zhen, and more. Throughout the cocktail portion of the evening, from 6 to 8pm, guests mingled amidst photographers and friends, enjoying passed hors d’oeuvres and installations as they drifted in and out of the silent auction tent which featured more than 100 lots by artists including: Lindsey Adelman, Carlos Bunga, Saint Clair Cemin, Candida Hofer, Joseph Kosuth, Annie Leibovitz, Raúl de Nieves, Hani Rashid, James Rosenquist, Paul Thek, Rosemarie Trockel and Carrie Mae Weems, among others.
SYDNEY, 8 MARCH 2017: In White Rabbit’s latest show, artists plunge into the darknessand emerge with brilliant new takes on tradition and modernity.
The ancient Chinese got their ink from smoky oil lamps, brushing away deposited soot and mixing it into a paste that hardened into “stones”. This black was pure, indelible and did not fade, and they fell in love with it. By adjusting the ink’s dilution, painters could create a multitude of shades, from jet black to palest dove grey. Black had always been the colour of mystery, night and the void. The better the artists got to know black ink, the more superficial, even gaudy, colour seemed. As the Daoist philosopher Laozi declared: “Colours cause the eye to go blind.” Black—utterly simple yet infinitely subtle—allowed one to see the truth.
Chinese artists no longer live in a simple, natural, orderly world. They get their blacks not just from ink stones but from printer cartridges, spray cans, propane torches, newsprint, polyester and steel. And they use blacks to convert realities the classical masters never dreamed of: oil spills, air pollution, megacities, mass production and political machinations.
The artists in this show don’t shun light or colour, but in using them they follow Laozi’s advice: “Know the white, but hold to the black.” Containing more than ever, the dark also conceals more than ever. And it matters more than ever that we see.
THE DARK MATTERS features works by 34 artists; most are new acquisitions and most have never been shown in Australia. A sampling:
- Surreally playful photographs by the lateRen Hang.
- Lin Yan’s billowing ink-and-paper pollution cloud.
- The vast, waterfall-lined landscape ofJiang Pengyi’s Grace.
- Billennium Waves, a primordial slow-motion ocean by Tang Nannan.
- Grinding, Yang Mushi’s barbaric-looking ode to pointlessness.
Also on show: works by Feng Mengbo, Shao Fan, Lin Tianmiao, Cang Xin and Huang Po-Chih.
The White Rabbit Gallery was established in 2009 to share Judith Neilson’s private collection of 21st-century Chinese art with the public. The Gallery is a registered charitable institution funded solely by Judith Neilson.
‘In reality there is not a muscle of the body which does not express the inner variations of feeling. All speak of joy or of sorrow, of enthusiasm or of despair, of serenity or of madness.‘ Auguste Rodin, 1912
Auguste Rodin was an artist who redefined the idea of the body in sculpture. Marking 100 years since his death in 1917, Rodin’s legacy is the wellspring of this major exhibition.
Versus Rodin: Bodies across space and time brings together key pieces by this pioneer of modern sculpture with an innovative selection of work by leading modern and contemporary artists who have similarly challenged our understanding of the human condition.
Exclusive to the Art Gallery of South Australia, Versus Rodin includes the Gallery’s significant collection of bronze sculptures by Rodin, the largest collection in the Southern Hemisphere.
Through a series of duets and duels, Rodin’s work is brought into conversation with over 100 modern and contemporary works of art by Louise Bourgeois, Antony Gormley, William Kentridge, Bharti Kher, Rosemary Laing, Ugo Rondinone and Kara Walker among others.
The year 2017 marks the twelfth year since the establishment and sound subsequent growth of the Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai. Since the start of this new year, the museum has started to display even greater vitality than ever before with its new vision to develop its customized and distinctive “Cross and Plus” operational model and foster such innovation within China and beyond its borders. Gathering Field – A Transmedia Art Exhibition is thus MoCA Shanghai’s starting event for the year, signaling its first step in realizing this vision as well as the museum’s prospective orientation toward such a transformation.
Yang Qingqing, a professor from Shanghai Theatre Academy’s College of Creative Studies, has been invited to act as the curator forMoCA Shanghai’s opening 2017 exhibition. With a selection of works from domestically and internationally renownedparticipating artists, this seasoned transmedia researcher and practitioneris expected to use a “Gathering Field” theme to reflect the core concept of the art form. According to Samuel Kung, director of the museum, “The prominence of ‘transmedia’ for this exhibition lies in the studies of humankind’s creative thinking as well as a broad exploration into artistic practice. Such an exploration may activate our inspirations and aspirations and break through the dichotomy between traditional and contemporary art.” It is worth mentioning that “I” Fantasie – Rencontre between Debussy and Du Liniang, a refreshing work that crosses the disciplinaryfields of theatre, film, and music, is included in this event to expand upon the oft assumed concept that a fine art museum is just a mere “white cube”, showing what such a venue can truly be all about.“This will also fully open the gates of MoCA Shanghai to a series of successive pieces of ‘Cross and Plus’ repertoire,” added Mr. Kung, “pooling the entirety of cultural and artistic variety within the dynamic fields of the museum.”
Yang holds that “Transmedia” is a high-level form of “artistic entanglement”. “Trans” here signifiesthe meeting and combination of artistic thought, theaccumulation of inventive energy, and the enhanced materialization of the human sensory experiencewithin either the real or virtual world. Many unprecedented forms of art havethereby made their wayonto the stage as a result, and these include the trans-narrative, trans-reality, trans-sculpture, trans-fixation, trans-behavior, trans-incidental, and trans-language, among many, many others.
“Transmedia” is a concept, a methodology, and, before anything else, “the free interchanges of the vast range of human senses”. Joseph Beuys once said, “Art is the only power to free humankind from all repression.” From my point of view, it is no exaggeration to sayart is a science deeply rooted in freedom.
From the perspective of Hegel’s definition of aesthetics, this exhibition presents a special formation of a field which gathers jarring yet mysterious expressions of sentimentality based on the transmedia conception.
The name of the exhibition Chinese Summer is a metaphor for a nation and art scene that have seen explosive growth over the last two decades. China is now one of the most important industrial and economic forces on the planet and this has been matched by overwhelming artistic and cultural production that in recent years has moved from a local situation to a position on the global stage.
The pioneering generation of artists came to public attention during the 1980s, when there was a creative explosion in China. This spearheaded the artistic revolution that continues through to the present day. These firstgeneration artists emerged out of an extended period of cultural isolation and a closed regional context characterised by a highly traditional way of conceiving and appreciating art. They abandoned traditional formal approaches and adopted many of the radical aesthetic and conceptual paradigms of the Western avantgarde. Spread thinly throughout the nation and working in selforganised clusters, talents were homegrown and their progressive activities were not the product of an institutional system but the result of the will to advance cultural dialogue.
The Chinese artists who emerged at the beginning of the new century highlight the tremendous creativity of those who are breaking new territory in international contemporary art. These artists tend to adhere to a tradition of postconceptual art premised upon ideas and artistic concepts rather than materials or formal techniques. Their works are realised as installations, films, sculptures, photographs, computer graphics and paintings. Audiences are confronted with a variety of works that tell stories about universal topics of power and politics, identity, history, memory and nostalgia. Other works take on abstract notions like time, unpredictability, chance and illusion. Like the society in which they live, the artists are acutely aware of their place in history, and there is a profound intermingling of joyfulness and unadulterated aspiration with serious social and political questions.
The Chinese contemporary artists from these different generations are all in one way or another caught in a productive tension between tradition and modernity – between being global citizens and denizens of an unprecedented period of vitality on the Asian mainland. They situate their practice in a reaction to the social and spatial infrastructure of their country, but they are also citizens of the world, as we can see from the many foreign iconographical references in their work. Eminently original, poetic, dramatic and even frightening, these ambitious works narrate transcultural fictions.
ShanghART is thrilled to present “20”, a special exhibition including 20 art works by 20 artists at Fosun Foundation opening on 20 December. The exhibition continues to 20 February 2017.
This exhibition showcases the works from the various periods throughout 20 years development of contemporary art in Shanghai. Every individual work as the pivotal representative that articulates correspondent artist’s characteristic concept, integrates with the brand new multi-functional space, which fulfills the mutual association and connection between works and the three-storey architecture. Specifically, an interactive atmosphere is sufficiently formed with Zhang Ding’s large-scale stainless steel cube and man-made crystal installation in the entrance hall. Nearly 600 square meters of the second floor presents the major works, including early classic works from Zeng Fanzhi, Ding Yi, Yu Youhan, Zhou Tiehai and Zhang Enli etc., and works in multi-media from Xu Zhen, Zhu Jia and Hu Jieming etc. In the top floor, viewers immerse themselves in appreciating Yang Fudong’s eight-channel video installation.
“20” sees the path of ShanghART as the platform to reflect the dynamic evolving process of contemporary art in China, also resonates the vision of Fosun Foundation that establishes a diversified international culture center combining the tradition and modernism. ShanghART and Fosun as the important participants and supporters both rooted in Shanghai which have been thriving throughout the history for more than two decades aim at disseminating art into a wider range of public life and concrete the foundation of the contemporary art on the promising new stage.
ShanghART is thrilled to celebrate its 20th anniversary and the inauguration of its new gallery building located in West Bund with a major group exhibition titled Holzwege. Opening in November, the exhibition serves as a retrospection of the gallery’s role and contribution to the development of Chinese contemporary art, and at the same time looks ahead to the future of exciting collaborations with emerging Chinese artists and international artists.
Holzwege opens on 9 November, coinciding with the opening of the 11th Shanghai Biennale and ShanghART’s participation in two leading international art fairs in Shanghai.
“Wood” is an old name for forest. In the wood there are paths, mostly overgrown, that come to an abrupt stop where the wood is untrodden. They are called Holzwege. Each goes its separate way, though within the same forest. It often appears as if one is identical to another. But it only appears so. Woodcutters and forest keepers know these paths. They know what it means to be on a Holzweg. Martin Heidegger
Inspired by German philosopher Martin Heidegger’s ‘Holzwege’ – a term which describes an overgrown, rarely trodden forest path only recognisable to forest keepers and woodcutters, the exhibition examines how ShanghART and its artists have been exploring and setting the paths of contemporary art in China for the past twenty years, with the perseverance of Heidegger’s woodcutters and forest keepers.
In the exhibition, ShanghART showcases works by renowned Chinese artists such as Zeng Fanzhi, Ding Yi, Zhang Enli, Yang Fudong and Xu Zhen alongside works by emerging artists from China, such as Sun Xun, Zhao Yang and Ouyang Chun, as well as overseas artists, such as Jörg Immendorff and Apichatpong Weerasethakul, initiating rich and diverse new dialogues between local and international art communities. Each work stands on its own, and yet the theme of the exhibition resonates through all of them, as each artist expresses his/her own way of finding the ‘Holzweg’.
Marked by its sustained growth and inclusive approach, ShanghART is recognised as a pioneer of and a witness to the contemporary art’s development in China, and has not ceased to innovate and carve out its own path since its establishment in 1996. Holzwege looks back on the ShanghART’s development in the past two decades, and signifies a new start for the gallery.
Occupying both floors of the gallery’s new West Bund building, Holzwege is a substantially sized exhibition showcasing works ranging from large-scale sculptures, installations, video installations and performances.
Since the foundation in 2015, Ming Contemporary Art Museum (McaM) has been committed to support and promote the contemporary experimental art with performance at the core. McaM has brewed and hosted a series of exhibitions and performances that attracted extensive attention: from 30 Years of Experimental Theater to Maywa Denki: Nonsense Machine, from Jan Lauwers: Silent Stories to the 20- hour durational performance The House of Our Fathers.
The past year witnessed the practice in tracing back the exhibitions in the forms of performance and theatre in the historical context and now McaM focuses its curatorial perspective on the concept of the performance itself. The exhibition “Why the Performance?” explorers the various forms of performance in daily life and approaches a series of questions arising from it. How could the performance become a kind of politics when politics became a form of performance? What is the meaning assigned by the performance to our daily life when it acts as a strategy of propaganda and presentation of miracles? How the performance becomes a means of de-significance that has been unexpectedly reduced to entertainment at such a pan-performance epoch featuring an overflow of social media and the popularity of histrionic personality? How to reinterprets the power of the audience and the onlooking type politics in the relationship between watching and being watched?
The works the exhibition will present are closely linked to the performance and are produced by more than 30 artists worldwide in different phases in forms of installation, moving image, performance art, theater, dance, sound, poetry, etc. questioning (answering): Why the Performance?
MadeIn Gallery is pleased to present Information Sculpture Superhighway opening on September 8, 2016. This exhibition will inaugurate the new space of MadeIn Gallery since its move from M50 to the West Bund area. Information Sculpture Superhighway presents works of artists achieved using a variety of forms. It is intended to show how the whole human society on the information superhighway is sculpturing its self-integrity. “Sculpture” here does not refer to a narrow definition of plastic art, but alludes to Joseph Beuys’ definition of “social sculpture”, in which everyone is considered to be an equally creative individual, and has the potential to reshape the future of society through art.
In this exhibition, the strength of the notion “the medium is the message” – as an echo from the last century – has gradually been consumed and turned into a disused formula. In fact, what we see here is: “the message is the medium”, and modifications in scales and models caused by digital media are relegated to the back. The information released by the medium becomes a real force that impacts social status. Information already is the final state of all media. However, with the loss of its physical characteristics, media of various kinds can no longer distinguish one from another. It is also the source of such disordered use of media among most of the exhibited works. This confusion is not only reflected in the form of chaotic combinations or random collages, but also in the destructive attitude towards the medium as an icon. Image resolution and dimensions are no longer primordial, similarly, beauty of forms and material stability in sculpture lost their importance; these aspects became insignificant compare to the information they intend to convey. During the process of creation, medium has been considerably mistreated, and information became the core of expression.
Information is a scourge rampaging on the highway. As all superhighways have a bottom speed, information also shapes its speed to a certain extent. Substance – two-dimensional surface – pixel – information – alternate with one another on the highway within the snap of a finger. The information generated by such high speed leads to a social symptom, a compulsive obsession with always being above the bottom speed. Not only does it pressure us in terms of speed, but also it permeates the whole society in the form and content. “Highway”, whose imagery in the first place evokes decentralization, confers information with the most powerful right of expression, within the illusion of rights to equality. In Information Sculpture Superhighway, artists – as human beings who possess the identities of evolution and innovative vitality – offer their own proposals to social sculpturing, within such symptomatic context.
“Studio” brings together twelve of China’s most prominent contemporary artists: Ding Yi, Jia Aili, Liu Jianhua, Liu Wei, Liu Xiaodong, Mao Yan, Xu Zhen, Yang Fudong, Yan Pei-Ming, Zeng Fanzhi, Zhang Enli, & Zhang Xiaogang. By exploring their studios and working conditions through each artist’s own lens, the source of their creative output is put on display, and the unique personalities of these artists and their artworks become tangible.
“Every year, I spend a lot of time visiting artists’ studios. Studios are wonderful places to visit – you get an insight into the way an artist works, the conditions they work in, and you can see their newest pieces. It’s somewhere you can really get a comprehensive understanding of an artist. Artists are a perceptive, eclectic group, and through their studios you get to see the various characteristics of different artists: some appear cluttered and homely, others clean and sterile; some have books strewn about, others bottles; in some, the sound of music drifts through the air… Art should be about more than just aesthetic images or objects. From their studio, we get a glimpse into an artist’s pursuits and creativity; we can awaken our awareness and understanding of their world. We believe that this is an extraordinary and unusual exhibition, one that will be written into art history. ” － Qiao Zhibing (Collector, Exhibition Organizer)
“Another Wave” can be interpreted as the “New Wave”, which implies the everchanging nature of the world. The 1st Daojiao New Art Festival was not only a “wave” – which indicates the creation of contents – but also a “light year” that indicates the creation of history.
As a cultural event held outside of the 1st Tier Cities, Daojiao New Art Festival focuses more on the concept of “locality”. With the emphasis on locality and extension, loof interfered the visual system by introducing the strong presence of modernity to all of the exhibition materials including the website, the poster, the leaflets, the dynamic screen display, the invitation, the ticket as well as the stickers.
“Plastic Myths” talks about Asian mythologies as the subject of ‘now, here’ also the subject of ‘future’ by exceeding the custom to judge myths only as the stories from ancient times. The exhibition hall of 28 cells can work both independently and collectively to capture Asia as collective of different identities rather than all lumped together in one identity. This exhibition presents the current Asian mythology from Asians’ own perspectives instead of objectified views by others.
Group exhibition The uncertain, or the shelved… is showcased in ShanghART Gallery both Main and H Space from 16th July. The diversified perspectives have been finalised after sourcing through numerous artists’ studios. Works are exhibited in various media ranging from paintings, installations, sculptures and manuscripts etc. . The exhibition is on view through 31st August.
The uncertain, or the shelved… “The uncertain” is the hesitation, exploration or experimentation of the concept, thoughts, creativity etc. in the extent of thinking logic; “the shelved” is the statement of behaviour positioned in pause, reserve, lingering etc.. Both scenarios are connected as well as mutually influenced each other. This exhibition aims at revealing that those works or ideas are initiated due to momentary inspirations but temporarily/permanently halted because of self-struggling with distracted clues or directions. The mysterious circumstances that how works are conceived and why they’re suspended have become flowing riddles between artists and audiences. Not only does the exhibition challenge the viewers’ cognition by presenting the seemingly divergent creation clues which enrich the possibilities of artists creative contexts, but also reflects the extended associations which are hidden beneath the differentiated creation practices.
“The unfinished is an interesting beginning or a recurrent idea after repetitious recording then forgetting it.”
“I’ve always liked woodcarving, but never followed through… One day sculpting out the rough shape but was difficult in further detailing it, I helplessly left it there…around 2012, had several attempts in carving it again but still ended in a meltdown…now, just look back again, it appears more perfectly after shifting through time, and has become my cherished object.”
“Problems like many traditional craftsmen in churches or temples might confront, how to create an intangible spirit by deploying tangible materials. I wanted to exercise some tactile painting sometimes, I’m sensitive about the surface texture of paintings, therefore, I have processed several experiments violently on some most simple materials. ”
Above narratives excerpted from Artists’ oral statement
In a live exhibition that unfolds over 18 days, the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam is proud to presents Ensemble sin órganos (Ensemble without organs), the first international performance-based exhibition to take place in the museum, an intergenerational exhibition that explores the simultaneous histories and trajectories that have shaped what has been termed “artes vivas,” live actions, “acciones,” and performance art across different geographies. The exhibition utilises duration as a format to connect and activate different spaces in the museum, bringing together emerging and established international and local artists alongside a variety of media, historical and archival material and documentation.
Rather than trying to define what performance art and “artes vivas” are today, the exhibition brings together artists and collectives from different generations representing a diverse range of practices dating from the 1960s to the present. The show has been conceived as developing over time, and is divided into five constellations that are networked throughout the galleries of the museum. These constellations are: Instructions and Language; Living Technologies and the Body; Ritual and Dance; Social Engagement and Audiences; Reenactments and Live Histories. By utilising networks, the show seeks to open up a dialogue between practices and movements that were happening concurrently, with international links to the present; each, however, represents unique local conditions and environments with different lineages and influences. Many of the artists and artworks in the exhibition are being presented for the first time in Cuba.
These networked themes will be reflected in the design and layout of the exhibition, in which time and space have been allocated for these terms to be further explored and contested. For example, constellations such as Reenactments and Live Histories will consider the relationship between the historicising of performance, how performance is remembered, collected and archived, and its connection to the present: how can museums then exhibit and revisit earlier performance works for new audiences? The constellation will also feature historically significant Cuban artists and collectives such as Grupo Enema and Ana Mendieta.
Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum is pleased to present “Turning Point: Contemporary Art in China Since 2000”, a group show of contemporary Chinese art. Professor Yi Ying, renowned art historian and critic, will take the role as the academic moderator of the exhibition. Featuring 52 artists/artist collectives in total, the exhibition will occupy the whole first floor of the museum and present work ranging from painting, sculpture, installation to video and animation. The exhibition will open to the public on July 23 and run through September 4.
Highlighting the year 2000 as a key time concept, the exhibition intends to probe into the various changes, emerging trends of thought as well as social problems ever since then and to cast light on the responses contemporary art has made. The exhibition focuses mainly on two “turning points”, or say two types of “transition”–that from easel art to conceptual art and from form to social significance. To be more specific, the former refers to the fact that in the wake of the development of the linguistic nature of contemporary art, the linear evolution of art since mid-80s came to an end. Compared to art back in the 90s which featured painting mainly, it has now become more diverse and conceptual. The latter stresses on the changes of the writing of contemporary art. Attention has been shifted from the logic embedded in the form to social movements, social significance, social problems (i.e. urban space, land and ethnic groups) and the demonstration of the different experiences. In the meantime, with the increasing involvement of the internet, films, televisions, high-tech and new media, the art form has witnessed continuous development as it is equipped with the capacity to present new visual forms of expression in line with the development of the society.
With a focus on the status quo of the Chinese contemporary art and the driving force behind it, Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum will present a selected groups of works produced since 2000. These works cast light on how artists think about art, the evolution of social concepts as well as the progress and destiny of Chinese contemporary society from a variety of perspectives. Collectively, they form a big picture illustrating the transition witnessed in the Chinese contemporary art scene since the new century.
A themed symposium will be organized during the exhibition and scholars from different disciplines will be invited to share their views upon art, philosophy and various social issues. Public educational programmes accompanying the exhibition will include talks and a series of workshops.
A leading sculpture foundation in England will display the first major exhibition of outdoor sculpture by contemporary Chinese artists to be shown in the UK.
16th June 2015, Chichester, UK: Cass Sculpture Foundation is delighted to present A Beautiful Disorder, the first major exhibition of newly commissioned outdoor sculpture by contemporary Chinese artists to be shown in the UK. From May 2016, fifteen monumental outdoor sculptures will be on display throughout the grounds of CASS. These artists employ a variety of ambitious sculptural techniques across a range of materials including bronze, stone, steel and wood.
The historical relationship between English and Chinese landscape aesthetics is the starting point and inspiration for these contemporary Chinese and Greater Chinese artists. The title of the exhibition, A Beautiful Disorder, is a quote from an influential letter written by the Jesuit missionary and artist Jean-Denis Attiret in 1743 that had a tremendous effect on English garden culture. Attiret used the term to describe the ability of the Chinese garden to provoke violent and often opposing sensations in the viewer through a series of theatrical framing devices. The exhibition invites the viewer to reflect on China’s past, present and future relationship with the world at large, and provides valuable insight into the state of Chinese culture, politics and society today from the perspective of some of its most dynamic and engaging artists.
Cass Sculpture Foundation’s Executive Director, Clare Hindle, says:
“To date, Cass Sculpture Foundation has commissioned over 400 works – A Beautiful Disorder is a landmark moment for the Foundation as it is the first time we are commissioning works for a major exhibition by international artists. The exhibition will showcase contemporary Chinese sculpture by some of the leading Chinese artists.”
Participating artists for A Beautiful Disorder include: Bi Rongrong, Cao Fei, Cheng Ran, Cui Jie, Jennifer Ma Wen, Li Jinghu, Lu Pingyuan, Made in Company, Rania Ho, Song Ta, Tu Wei-Cheng, Wang Sishun, Wang Wei, Wang Yuyang, Zhang Ruyi, Zheng Bo and Zhao Yao.
Art Night is a free contemporary arts festival that will transform London for one night on 2 July 2016. Ten international artist’s projects, including six new site-specific commissions, feature in a cross-disciplinary programme of art, architecture, dance, design and music – forming a unique trail across central London, from 5pm until the early hours.
The first tickets for Art Night are available via the ICA website from 9 May. A second release is also planned for 7 June!
Art Night 2016 is curated by the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) and generously supported by international auction house PHILLIPS.
Tickets are required for the following projects:
Artist and choreographer Alexandra Bachzetsis will present two performances in the rooms of Two Temple Place, a highly ornate building designed by neo-gothic architect John Loughborough Pearson.
A series of performance still lives by Nina Beier will be staged in a luxury at 190 Strand by St Edward, altering the reality of the lavish domestic space.
Celia Hempton will transform part of the iconic brutalist building 180 Strand with a series of site- specific wall paintings, creating a theatrical scene, in collaboration with The Vinyl Factory.
The uncanny disused Jubilee line platform in Charing Cross Underground station will be transformed into a sensory installation by Koo Jeong A, co-commissioned with Art on the Underground.
The UK premiere of the performance Reanimation by artist Joan Jonas and jazz pianist and composer Jason Moran will be staged in Southwark Cathedral.
Historic rooms in the iconic Admiralty Arch will be taken over with an installation by Turner Prize-winning artist Laure Prouvost.
This exhibition focuses on the “problems of exhibitions” in contemporary Chinese art, including the goals, organization, conditions, and challenges of exhibiting contemporary art in China. These problems inspired experimental artists, art critics, and independent curators during the 1990s, leading to many interrelated activities and discussions. During this process a large number of original exhibitions were planned and staged, while many influential works were conceptualized and created for special exhibitions. Prior to the normalization of contemporary art in the early 2000s, these activities constituted an “exhibition moment,” with a force and concentration rarely seen in world art history.
Today, nearly twenty years later, contemporary art exhibitions have become a vital part of the Chinese art scene, with numerous museums, galleries, and exhibition spaces constantly producing new shows. Yet the negotiation between experimentalism and public agendas still determines the identity and social significance of contemporary art. The historical experiences from the 1990s are still useful in thinking about this problem. Such experiences also constitute an important topic in studying the development of contemporary Chinese art.
This exhibition consists of two parts. Part One displays materials related to contemporary art exhibitions of the 1990s, focusing on twelve exhibitions organized between 1997 and early 2000, whose venues included a large public museum, a private museum, a mall, a fashionable bar, a convention center, a zone between city and countryside, an ancient building, basements in high rises, and other types of non-exhibition space. Entitled “Canceled: An Exhibition about an Exhibition,” Part Two is an exhibition within an exhibition. Through re-presenting the space and content of one of these twelve historical shows, it reflects on the interaction between the organizer, artists, and audiences of experimental exhibitions in the 1990s.
Huang Yu, a Sichuanese born 1981, is one of the most competent, professional Chinese collectors to have emerged in recent years. Beginning with ancient Buddha images and porcelain, his collection has gradually shifted towards contemporary painting, sculpture, installation and video. His work experience at Minsheng Art Museum deepened his understanding of the system and values of contemporary art in China. As a Buddhist believer and beneficiary of the collecting process, he has donated Buddha images to his home district’s locally-supported monastery; he has also established a scholarship fund for his alma mater. Among his other dreams are to establish an art museum and an art expo in Chengdu, in order to sustain and enhance a contemporary art environment in the Southwest.
This exhibition gathers 100+ works by 65 important artists, spanning various media and types. It can be seen as an encapsulation and guide to Chinese contemporary art that is underway at present. In particular, it showcases the collection’s remarkably systematic coverage of conceptual painting. The list of artists ranges from Yu Youhan and Li Shan down to Xie Xingnan and Duan Jianyu, along with even younger innovators. The curator engaged to handle this exhibition is Zhu Zhu, winner of the 2011 China Contemporary Art Award in Criticism and currently one of the most important curators rooted in the native Chinese context. By the title “New Doctrine of Capital,” he raises discussion of a consumerist context in which art creation moves toward self-determination of art capital. What is more, the exhibition will hold a coterminous summit forum for young collectors. At the same time, several hundred important personages from the Chinese art world will be invited to attend, including museum directors, gallerists, collectors, corporate figures and participating artists.
Foreword by Huang Yu
Sometimes, in certain settings, I sense, with more than a bit of joy, that others see collecting as a wonderful thing, and view the collection of art as a noble task. But when I sit back and really think about it, I can’t help but think that collecting is a disorder, one that leads you to want to have all good things. It is a grave case of obsessive-compulsive disorder. My obsession with collecting began in my early years with bubblegum. In my second year of middle school, there was a popular brand of bubblegum called BigBabol. There were a hundred pieces to a box, and each box had a toy inside. There were sixteen different toys in the series, and in order to collect them all, I bought over fifty boxes of BigBabol bubblegum in a span of three months. That’s over five thousand sticks of gum. I was handing it out to everyone I saw. This was my first experience with collecting. It was then that I discovered my love for collecting. I found I had a powerful desire to possess the things I loved. It was just natural to collect them.
My propensity to collect has been a part of my life ever since. I have also been plagued by obsession-compulsion ever since. In everything I do, I demand perfection. I worked out in order to develop six pack abs, and along the way, I won a national bodybuilding championship in 2004. I studied finance, and in 2003, I naturally entered into the family business, into the art auction system. I began by researching classical art. I started collecting porcelain in 2004, and particularly enjoyed the products of the Ming and Qing dynasty imperial kilns. I wanted to have a specimen from the royal kilns of each dynasty. I was fascinated by all kinds of antiquities. Much of the richness of classical Chinese art is embodied by these traditional artworks. Without planning to do so, I had begun training myself. I was on a quest for perfection. In 2006, I grew intensely interested in researching and collecting Buddhist sculpture. This can, of course, be traced back to my mother, a devout Buddhist. Under her influence, I have been passionate about Buddhism since I was a child. I also clearly remember that I first began collecting Buddhist sculpture out of devotion. This continued until 2007, when I began dabbling in the research and collection of contemporary art. I had entered into the Minsheng system, which was at that time actively getting involved in the research and collection of contemporary art, planning a system of Chinese contemporary art systems, and I was involved. I was quite enthusiastic about approaching an entirely new field, and I diligently studied it. I auctioned many outstanding specimens from my collection of over one hundred antiques so that I could collect works of Chinese contemporary art. I did not, however, sell any specimens of Buddhist sculpture. Those I still keep today. Because of my faith, I will preserve this Buddhist art for the rest of my life. But beyond this, all of my passion and faith since 2007 have been concentrated on the research and collection of contemporary art, and this will continue into the future.
Before I knew it, I had spent twelve years as a collector. I quit my job at Minsheng in late 2015. It was then that I realized my collection had grown and matured alongside me. These contemporary artworks are inextricably linked to my own history, encounters and experiences over these past twelve years. I chose to hold this exhibition of my collection in Chengdu for good reason. I am from Zigong, here in Sichuan Province. I chose to return to my home province to hold this exhibition in hopes of bringing some positive energy to the local art industry and Chinese contemporary art.
“Painting in green is a challenge.” (Thomas Huber) Green is a symbol of hope, healing and fertility – but also jealousy, greed and poison.
What happens when we see green – instead of, for example, red? In this first exhibition on a “disturbing” colour, its topicality, its contemporary functions and meanings are at the centre of an extremely exciting presentation. Different aspects and interconnections are presented in painting, installations and video, giving rise to a lively panorama of the contemporary relevance or a colour which is as everyday as it is irritating.
The Pino Pascali Foundation continues the intercultural project started with the ongoing exhibition “Convivium”. The 21st of May at 7 pm it launches TUTORIALS, a project on Chinese video art, curated by Mariagrazia Costantino which involves thirteen artists and just as many ways of understanding everyday life. The artists are: Guan Xiao, Fang Lu, Li Ming, Li Ran, Lin Ke, Liu Chuang, Liu Shiyuan, Lu Yang, Ma Qiusha, Tao Hui, Ye Linghan, Yu Honglei and Xu Zhen (MadeIn Company)
From the 21st of May at 7 pm Chinese video art will be focus of the project curated by Mariagrazia Costantino, independent critic and curator as well as art director of OCAT in Shanghai from 2012 to 2015. The title of the project is Tutorials – Moving images and a User’s Guide from China, and it will involve artists such as Guan Xiao, Li Ming, Li Ran, Lin Ke, Fang Lu, Liu Chuang, Liu Shiyuan, Lu Yang, Ma Qiusha, Tao Hui, Ye Linghan, Yu Honglei and Xu Zhen (MadeIn Company) who will present thirteen dierent, ironical and fun ways of seeing and explaining the world and reality, also through provocation, but with the aim of identifying and involving the interlocutor.
A “tutorial” is technically an on-line lesson which uses certain strategies and conventions to illustrate specic contents. One of the most common ways of making tutorials or guides consists in lming oneself while doing what the person does best in order to produce a video that will then be uploaded on YouTube and shared with followers on the dierent social networks.
The most bizarre “tutorials” are on “ How to be kids again; How to be graciously crazy; How to be pretty and popular in middle school; How to eat faster; How to be “ That girl”; How to get people to believe you are an alien; how to get obsessed by something” and so on.
The artists in this exhibition apply the same principle and similar techniques, but make fun of the concept of “tutorial”and reach dierent conclusions which are often quite critical.
‘ These artists were born in a country which, as the cradle of Confucianism, has given a great deal of importance to the relationship pupil-teacher’ – the curator, Mariagrazia Costantino explains – ‘they have grown up in an era during which knowledge is available to everyone, including practical knowledge, but in the endemic form of tutorials. For thousands of years education in China was based on the confucian approach built on the absolute respect for teachers. However, today the country struggles to nd suitable ways to hand down knowledge… But the point is: what kind of knowledge are we referring to? The race for new growth targets dictates that we periodically revisit what we held as true “before” as well as regularly resorting to tutorials which, despite not having any apparent or immediate practical use, represent a model and guidance to young people.
These artists, mostly born in the mid 1980s, are among the most interesting gures in China today, their works are being exhibited in Europe, the United States and Asia.
This project is part of Pino Pascali Foundation’s collection “An Eye on the World”, a series of exhibitions which have brought to Polignano a Mare the works of American, Israeli, Iranian, Japanese and Chinese artists.
Inspired by a comment by science-fiction author William Gibson, the title of the twentieth Biennale of Sydney, The future is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed, suggested that technology had already surpassed our ideas of the future, and served as a reminder that access to information, the internet and other more basic resources is not universal. The 2016 edition took place across seven distinct ‘embassies of thought’, designated as safe spaces for thinking, and reflected on immigration politics. Named after themes emerging from Rosenthal’s conversations with artists, the embassies were titled ‘Spirits’; ‘Non Participation’; ‘Translation’; ‘the Real’; ‘Transition’; ‘Disappearance’; and ‘Stanislaw Lem’. Twelve ‘in-between’ spaces – ranging from a library to a cemetery and a gap between two walls – provided further avenues through which to explore the distinction between the virtual and physical worlds, one of the key ideas of the exhibition. Performance featured strongly, with highlights including the Australian premiere of manger, 2014, by Boris Charmatz; Victory Over the Sun, 2016, a revisioning of the legendary 1913 Futurist (anti-) opera by Justene Williams with Sydney Chamber Opera; and Here, an Echo, 2016, a series of performances Agatha Gothe-Snape presented with dancer and choreographer Brooke Stamp. The project is now installed in Wemyss Lane, Surry Hills, as the second legacy project of the City of Sydney.
Commissioned by Qatar Museums, contemporary artist CAI Guo-Qiang has devoted three years to the curatorial research and development of the large-scale exhibition What About the Art? Contemporary Art from China. The exhibition will open at Qatar Museums’ 3,500-square-meter Gallery Al Riwaq on March 14, 2016 featuring works by 15 living artists and artist collectives born in Mainland China: Jenova CHEN, HU Xiangqian, HU Zhijun, HUANG Yong Ping, LI Liao, LIANG Shaoji, LIU Wei, LIU Xiaodong, Jennifer Wen MA, SUN Yuan & PENG Yu, WANG Jianwei, XU Bing, XU Zhen, YANG Fudong, and ZHOU Chunya.
Recent critical reception of contemporary Chinese art has focused largely on sociopolitical issues and record market prices. In response to the lack of detailed consideration given to contemporary Chinese artists’ artistic value and originality, the exhibition confronts the contemporary art world with the questions: What about the art itself? How do these Chinese artists contribute to the creativity of contemporary art?
What About the Art? Contemporary Art from China examines the issue of creativity—a topic rarely touched upon in the multitude of exhibitions on Chinese contemporary art. The exhibition aims to illuminate a set of current practices by Chinese artists that attempt to challenge the Chinese traditional aesthetics and the Western art historical canon. By presenting each artist’s works in an independent gallery space, the exhibition highlights their individual pursuit of artistic expressions, concepts, methodologies and attitudes. Their diverse bodies of work cross the media of painting, sculpture, installation, video, performance, and interactive video game design. This exhibition offers a unique perspective to the contemporary art world, shifting an emphasis from its idiomatic language of criticism, biography, and context, to a focus on the artworks themselves.
CAI Guo-Qiang has also invited scholar WANG Mingxian to curate Timeline, a gallery display featuring archival documents, images, and data of contemporary Chinese art covering the period from 1949 to present. This gallery will provide visitors with a rare glimpse into the historical and cultural development of contemporary Chinese art by revealing its parallel and conflicting relationship with mainstream Chinese culture.
The exhibition catalogue, to be published in Chinese, English, and Arabic, is conceived and edited by CAI Guo-Qiang. It crystalizes the three years of field research, over the course of which 250 pivotal exhibitions on Chinese Art were surveyed and over 20 art historians, critics, and curators were interviewed. The catalogue includes essays by internationally renowned scholars Terry Smith, Jerome Silbergeld and WANG Hui in addition to contributions by featured artists, along with a timeline reviewing major events in the history of contemporary Chinese art.
What About the Art? will feature a 60-minute documentary film under the same title, directed by Shanshan Xia and produced by 33 Studio NY. The documentary examines the pursuit of creativity in our contemporary society – both in and outside of China. By recording the curator’s dialogues with artists, critics, and scholars, the film reveals the exhibition’s curatorial concept. By combining the artwork and exhibition production process with China’s encompassing cityscapes the film offers a window into contemporary Chinese culture and society.
As a key program in the 2016 Qatar-China Year of Culture, the exhibition has received generous support from China National Arts Fund, Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture, and Shanghai International Culture Association.
A metric ton of fake marble. Two tons of leather. Three tons of compressed paper. Five thousand porcelain leaves, 10,000 identical books, 130,000 minute photographs, 600,000 painted dots. In these artworks, mass and scale are as important as media. Gigantic statues of Mao erected in the 1960s still dominate town squares all over China. But for contemporary artists, monumentalism is a way to express new realities and new ideas. It reflects confidence and ambition, a sense of China’s rising power, and the desire to make a mark. As photographer Guo Jian puts it: “I wanted my picture to be huge to have an impact.”
Artists go big to grab the attention of fickle audiences and position themselves in a crowded marketplace. They also do it to convey large ideas, about life and death, technology and nature, change and eternity. In China they have an additional reason. Contemporary art is a Western import, and many Chinese artists name European and American masters as their greatest influences. Now, mixing what they have learned from the West with China’s classical culture and crazy commercial zeitgeist, the former students are taking contemporary art in bold new directions. Whether they enlist computers and teams of low-cost workers or rely on their own patient skill, they are making works as hefty as their nation’s profile, and as hard to ignore. Their creations may embrace, confront, intrigue or enthral, but all are intended to stop viewers in their tracks.
Legendary pioneer and art collector Uli Sigg has been following the development of contemporary art in China since the late 1970s, collecting many artworks along the way. Now you can see more than 100 of these works in a new exhibition at MAK in Vienna, featuring prominent artists such as Ai Weiwei, Cao Fei, Duan Jianyu, Feng Mengbo, and He Xiangyu.
Chinese Whispers: Recent Art from the Sigg Collection will focus on objects from Uli Sigg’s Swiss private collection, which he has continuously expanded. With techniques such as calligraphy, painting, photography, sculpture, installation, and video, the presented objects open up a wide spectrum of works ranging from traditional analog to digital production.
The title refers to the eponymous children’s game in which messages are whispered secretly from one person to the next and distorted in content and meaning by the permanent repetition. This idea of communication, of reproduction and distortion regarding his exchange with China reflects the atmosphere of the show.
“Chinese contemporary art is a phenomenon without parallel. Even after the Cultural Revolution, the effects of Socialist Realism and restrictions due to censorship remain noticeable,” explains the Gallery. “Nonetheless, contemporary art in China has experienced a drastic change of direction since the increasing political openness in the 1980s. During that time, a new generation of Chinese artists have picked up modern trends from the West. The contents can often be seen as a reaction towards the politics and social change.”
Chinese Whispers: Recent Art from the Sigg Collection will run from 30 January – 26 May 2019 at MAK in Vienna.
Bentu: The native soil. In contemporary Chinese art, this term does not connote nationalism. Rather, it represents a dialectical concept that aims to reconcile the “local” and the “global” in a universalist and critical rediscovery of identity. This notion is central to the research of artists, curators and academics in China today.
This exhibition brings together 12 artists of different generations who live on mainland China. Using a wide variety of techniques and media, drawn from both local tradition and culture, as well as newer cutting edge technologies – sometimes associating with or confronting these – the artists reveal the complexities of a society that is in permanent mutation. The works highlight the current state of economy and ecology, and most notably, the transformation of the relationship between the city and the countryside. Questions relating to identity are also addressed.
The choice of works does not seek to show a panorama of the artistic scene in China, but aims to draw attention to the multiform character of the production in the country, which undergoes rapid development and which affirms itself through outstanding individuals, rather than through specific movements.
This is the first exhibition devoted to contemporary Chinese art in France in the past 10 years. It is co- organised with the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art of Beijing (UCCA Beijing).
The 6th Moscow Biennale will be a 10-day gathering from September 22 to October 1, 2015, at Pavilion No.1 in Moscow’s VDNKh (the Exhibition of Achievements of the People’s Economy).
Curators: Bart De Baere, Director of MUHKA, Antwerp; Defne Ayas, Director of Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam; Nicolaus Schafhausen, Director of Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna.
For the duration of 10 days, the 6th Moscow Biennale aspires to be a think-in involving all participants and visitors present, hosting art and cultural workers to provide a means for artistic and critical reflection to be exchanged through thinking in action. Driven by the questions of how to gather, how to live together and how to activate new capacities for the future, in collaboration with more than 70 Russian and international artists and thinkers on site, the program aims to re-articulate current dimensions of art presentation.
The 6th Moscow Biennale is a declaration of intent and an invitation to engage. It unfolds as a space of gathering, in which diverse forms of thinking enhance the understanding of what art can be. Counting on the commitment of its participants, the program invites visitors to fully and actively participate in a common undertaking to articulate their experiences of creative and intellectual practice. Using an infrastructure developed for this purpose at VNDKh Pavilion No.1 (designed by Fedor Dubinnikov (MEL | Architecture and Design), participants and visitors are to engage in an exchange between individuals and commonality, Moscow and the world, the so-called East and the West.
The biennial includes a media machine as part of its infrastructure to document, edit and reflect upon on the spot. After the 10-day gathering, different archival formats will follow up on the biennial, including a feature documentary by Singaporean film director Ho Tzu Nyen, a website with annotated documentation, a book, and a documentary exhibition from October 3 to November 1, 2015 at the biennial’s site.
In 2013, the Daimler Art Collection began adding a significant new aspect to its international profile, with the acquisition of more than 40 artworks by about 20 Chinese artists. From this year on, these new acquisitions will be presented to the public in an exhibition series in Berlin. These works by Chinese artists relate well to the Daimler Art Collection’s areas of special interest: the area of abstract and conceptual tendencies, and the “new media” area. At the same time, they form a new complex of their own within the fabric of the collection, which is culturally and aesthetically distinctive. In choosing which artists and which movements to incorporate, the Daimler Art Collection focused on art trends in the major centers: Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangdong (incl. Hong Kong). A forward-looking purchasing strategy was adopted, aided by in-depth research on location. Major artworks by artists who are already internationally well-known were acquired, and artworks by members of the younger generation of artists (born circa 1980) who are as yet unknown in our country were also discovered. Taken together, these new acquisitions for the Daimler Art Collection offer an insight into a country – a country that is both fascinating and the subject of controversy – that will be of great critical and global significance to the 21st century: not only because of its thousand years of tradition, but, above all, because of its rapid economic and cultural development.
This exhibition series in Berlin will present the recent Chinese acquisitions in the context of the Daimler Art Collection. This “dialogue” with international artistic concepts will bring out the unique qualities of the new acquisitions, but it will also bring out parallels and relationships in the form of shared artistic concerns. The first part of the exhibition – From a Poem to the Sunset – is primarily devoted to conceptual tendencies, which first became observable in contemporary Chinese art in the mid-1980s but which, notwithstanding this, form the basis of the working methods of many younger artists.
The prelude to this exhibition is provided by poems, chosen either as linguistic inspiration or as an artistic means of expression: Natalie Czech (*1976, D) often references lyric texts. In her artworks, she explores the ways in which words can evoke images, and how minimal interventions in the text can create new meanings. In some respects, her working method is akin to traditional calligraphy, the ‘methodology of writing’. In a series of artworks entitled Calligraphy of Written Backward, Qiu Zhijie (*1969, CHN) investigates the wider possibilities inherent in the backward writing of Chinese calligraphy, giving it something akin to a filmic visual language and combining it with a melancholy subject matter in the form of the thoughts of the banished poet Su Shi (1037-1101). The Irish artist Sarah Browne (*1981, IRL) is represented by an artwork in several parts that the Daimler Art Collection commissioned her to create, in which she evokes memories of the designer Eileen Gray. For the conclusion of her artwork From Margin to Margin (Looking for Eileen), 2010/2015, the artist herself commissioned a poem. At every presentation of the project – this time in Berlin, for instance by the inclusion of carrier pigeons – this poem will take a new and autonomous form.
In his artworks, the artist Zheng Chongbin (*1961, CHN), who was born in Shanghai and lives in San Francisco, achieves the suspension of the polarity between the Chinese and Western art worlds. One way in which he does this is to work in ink and acrylic paint – in parallel and with equal intensity. He shares with the Dresden artist Max Uhlig (*1937, D) a fascination with ink painting (both artists have spent many years engaging with this art form); additionally, both artists’ artworks feature gestures with a pronounced actional character, oscillating between abstraction and representational, readable content. The works of the young, Berlin based artist Sibylla Dumke demonstrate an intensive activity with structures of nature. Her intuitive strokes and the delicate tracery of the ink reflect the artist’s abilities of sensitive observations, interpreted in “a rhythmic movement” (SD).
Alongside artists who are concerned with what are regarded as the classic artistic media, the exhibition presents a number of complex installations in the area of new media. In the main space of the Daimler Contemporary, there will be a choreographically structured coming together of selected works by Yang Fudong (*1971, CHN) and Philippe Parreno (*1964, DZ/F); there will be showings of the films Continously Habitable Zones aka C.H.Z. (2011) by Philippe Parreno (commissioned by the Daimler Art Collection) and Yejiang/The Nightman Cometh (2011) by Yang Fudong. Both artists analyze the properties of their chosen media and formats: Yang experiments with film and photography, whilst Parreno makes the “exhibition” format itself the theme, designing “choreographies of bodies in space” (P.P.).
The next part of the exhibition presents current conceptual tendencies in Chinese contemporary art, in the form of a group of artworks by Liu Ding (*1976, CHN), and single works by Pak Sheung Chuen (*1977, CHN) and Lee Kit (*1978, CHN). Zhang Peili (*1957, CHN) was undoubtedly a pioneer of Chinese conceptual and video art; his documentation of one of his early “mail art” projects – Brown Book No.1, 1988 – appears in the exhibition. The artist Zheng Guogu (*1970, CHN) is similarly interested in modern China and its society. He is also known internationally as a member of the Yangjiang Group. His artwork is brought face-to-face with a work by Japanese-American artist couple Shusaku Arakawa (1936-2010) and Madeline Gins (1941-2014). Both artists are fascinated by the idea of a multifaceted Gesamtkunstwerk that incorporates society, architecture and the human body, poetry and philosophy. In the cabinet space of the Daimler Contemporary, Mont Saint Victoire, 2012, by Li Ran (*1986, CHN), an installation in several parts, is presented. The artist seeks and formulates his own individual point of entry to the modernism buried by the Cultural Revolution by combining questions relating to the theory of art with his own personal experiences.
For the artists in the subsequent part of the exhibition the internet is the source and arena of study: Both Katja Davar (*1968, GB) and Guan Xiao (*1983, CHN), who is represented in this exhibition by a 3-channel video and by the eponymous sculptural ensemble Sunset, construct and deconstruct their own real and virtual worlds and collect their references from different areas of knowledge, cultural contexts and epochs. A fundamental preoccupation for both artists is the question of how we, in our age, can evoke the past, the present and the future in thought.
The first part of the exhibition concludes with the Physique of Consciousness Museum, a kind of ‘artist museum’ by Xu Zhen produced by MadeIn Company (founded in 2009 by Xu Zhen [*1977, CHN]) that is dedicated to “human thought and action, and its body language”. The way that the thinking behind this artwork spans cultures, religions and contexts makes it symbolic of the whole exhibition and its ethos; amid the diversity and individuality of the exhibited artworks, it tries to highlight unifying and meaningful analogies. In all sections of the show, one can make out ongoing arcs that trace the course of recent tendencies in art and in current events.
The exhibition series is accompanied by an extensive program of supporting events. At the heart of this is a series of talks: an autonomous forum on specifically Chinese themes that will bring together a selection of art protagonists from China, with the hosts acting in the role of moderator. The talks will concern the artistic background and ethos behind the presented artworks, alongside fundamental issues and current themes of cultural and social development in China. The discussions, lectures and performances will give the artists featured in the exhibitions the opportunity to speak. Furthermore it is planed to host a multi-day symposium in Berlin, which will bring together some of the most knowledgeable protagonists on this subject from the international academia. The insights arising out of these events are going to be published online, and in an accompanying publication, which will be released at the beginning of 2016.
It is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of the current order or capitalism. – Michael Hardt BANK presents The BANK Show, Vive le Capital an exhibition that explores, celebrates, and critiques the omnipresent power of global finance through its site-specific venue, the former Bank Union building in Shanghai’s historic Bund district (est. 1925). In the past, political ideology and religious conviction shaped the conduits of power, but as the world accelerates into the 21st century the fate of human sustenance is more and more dependent on the ebb and flow of capital. Over the past decade the divide between the haves and have nots, global south and north, have become less tenuous while national identity and borders have become more tenuous. Through this exhibition we aim to flush out some perspectives from artists and others that examine the momentous and intimate experiences with multi-national capitalism: its virtues and vices, catches and loopholes, what it renders visible or precarious along a discursive discourse from Marx to Piketty.
At the outset of the 20th century BANK’s home was at the epicenter of global commerce. Shanghai played host to banks from throughout Europe and the United States as an outpost for Asian manufacturing and trade. Shanghai’s Bund essentially incubated what we know today as modern market globalization. Taking BANK’s distinct location and historic context as a departure point The BANK Show considers creative practices as impressed in the world of global capital and finance, rather than reducing them to vapid gestures of political correctness or over-simplifying dichotomies of morality.
Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum is pleased to present The System of Objects, a group show by Chinese contemporary artists. Featuring 44 artists whose practice varies from painting, sculpture, installation to video and animation, the exhibition shown on the ground floor of the museum will be open to public on March 29 and run through June 28, 2015.
During the past few years, object has triggered more and more discussion among the realms of cultural theory and contemporary philosophy. Such discussion could be generally categorized into two patterns. One is a cultural and political pattern, according to which the contemporary society has entered a stage of massive accumulation of objects. Being the most prominent sign of the consumer society, objects due to its strong autonomy are imposing substantial pressure on man, leading to the emergence of a new kind of fetishism. Under the influence of commodity fetishism by Marx, Walter Benjamin and Georg Lukács in early 20th century and Roland Barthes and Jean Baudrillard in late 20th century all treated object as an important topic of study. The other is a philosophical pattern. For long philosophy has considered objects as a realm intricately and inevitably connected with man. When talking about objects, we refer to objects from the perspective of man. It’s pointless to talk about objects if not taking man into consideration. Such is the simplest description of the relation between man and object since Kant and Heidegger. However, today’s young and radical philosophers put forward “Speculative Realism”, advocating that objects have their own domain and can be liberated from man’s perspective and its connection with man. Objects have the domain, destiny and noumenon of their own. An object-oriented ontology is under formation.
In the light of the above theory and with an insight into the development of Chinese contemporary artistic practice concerning “object”, Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum selected some of the most representative object-related artworks created by Chinese contemporary artists during the past two decades. Collectively they compose the “system of objects” of Chinese contemporary art, casting light on artists’ pondering on objects, changes in people’s view about objects, the development and destiny of objects in contemporary Chinese society, and most fundamentally, how man manages to establish his own image through his connection with objects.
In conjunction with the exhibition, talks and lectures under the theme of “object” will be presented. Moreover, an international symposium under the name of “Theories of Objects” will be organized during the exhibition.
Founded by China Minsheng Bank and open to the public in 2010, Minsheng Art Museum in Shanghai is committed to the promotion of Chinese contemporary art and the presentation of the trends and status quo of Chinese contemporary art. The exhibition intends to further the development of contemporary art in China and present a big picture of the ongoing evolution of today’s contemporary artistic practice.
Seoul Museum of Art (SeMA) presents The Subtle Triangle as its first exhibition of 2015. This exhibition, co-organized by SeMA and the Korea Foundation, is presented in relation to the Asia Colloquium: The Subtle Triangle, which was held at SeMA in November 2014. Following academic discussions among directors and curators of private/public museums in East Asia as well as practitioners who work actively in the international art field, the exhibition focuses on the artists: Yangachi (Korea), Xu Zhen (China), and Koizumi Meiro (Japan). The Subtle Triangle attempts to escape Western-oriented analyses of Northeast Asia as well as nationalism, regionalism, and statism, focusing rather on the art world of the artists who are leading the upcoming generation. This exhibition will further examine the current state of Northeast Asia and thus propose change and development.
Yangachi, Xu Zhen, and Koizumi Meiro were all born in the 1970s. They not only lead the Asian art world, but also actively participate in international exhibitions and art events. Yangachi presents his new production Sea Salt Theatre for the current exhibition. Sea Salt Theatre is an experiment within his recent interest in researching geographical elements and temporalities that are based within Asia. Yangachi aspires to greet and re-appropriate new audiences through his work. Koizumi Meiro from Japan is presenting a series of works that explores moments of human emotion and control. For The Subtle Triangle, he reveals how the disappearance of historical facts are witnessed and reestablished, thus presenting a critical perspective of distinct historical circumstances of Japan. Xu Zhen from China founded the MadeIn Company in 2009, and has continuously presented works that question the limits and meaning of art. Xu has recently been invited to exhibit at diverse international museums as well as Art Basel Miami and the Biennale de Lyon. Xu and Koizumi both present their large-scale works for the first time in Korea.
The Subtle Triangle also provides a research lounge organized by meeting room on the third floor, which presents a history of cultural exchanges among Korea, China, and Japan since 1989. The lounge offers an opportunity to examine the sensitive and interesting sociopolitical history of the three countries alongside its art history. Additionally, an education program co-organized by the education department of SeMA and the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat will invite youth from Northeast Asia who live in Seoul to discuss and share ideas on the past, present, and future of the three countries based on the exhibition and historical records, and further share their opinions on the potential paths the countries should take. Instead of observing one another with a contemplative attitude, The Subtle Triangle strives to construct a new discourse on Northeast Asian contemporary art by materializing their topics and enthusiastically engaging one another through psychological expansion.
Xu Zhen’s work, Eternity series, is selected to be presented in Unlimited sector at 2014 Art Basel, Switzerland.
Unlimited is curated by New York-based curator Gianni Jetzer this year. Unlimited is Art Basel’s pioneering exhibition platform for projects that transcend the limitations of a classical art-show stand. The innovative work includes out-sized sculpture and paintings, video projections, large-scale installations, and live performances.
Fondation Beyeler, Art Basel and Theater Basel will present 14 Rooms, a major live-art exhibition to be staged in Basel from June 14 to 23, 2014. Curated by Klaus Biesenbach and Hans Ulrich Obrist, the exhibition will feature performative works by artists including Marina Abramović, Allora and Calzadilla, Ed Atkins, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Damien Hirst, Otobong Nkanga, Roman Ondák, Santiago Sierra, and Xu Zhen. With an overall exhibition design by Herzog & de Meuron, 14 Rooms is a collaboration between Fondation Beyeler, Art Basel and Theater Basel.
Curators Klaus Biesenbach, Director of MoMA PS1 and Chief Curator at Large at The Museum of Modern Art, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-director of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects at the Serpentine Gallery, have invited 14 international artists to each activate a room, exploring the relationship between space, time and physicality with an artwork whose ‘material’ is a human being. Giving visitors an insight into a more performative and interactive practice, visitors will encounter a new situation within each of the 14 rooms, engaging in a diverse series of immersive and intimate experiences.
Conceived specifically for Basel, Ed Atkins, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Otobong Nkanga will create new works for the show. Alongside these world premieres, historical and rarely seen works by acclaimed artists from around the world will be brought to Basel.
14 Rooms will include Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla’s Revolving Door (2011), in which a group of performers spontaneously form a line and begin to rotate around the room in a circular motion, sweeping up visitors as they move around the space.
In his exploration of social boundaries and socio-cultural inequalities, Santiago Sierra places a succession of war veterans, from varied past conflicts, standing facing one corner of a 5-5-meter room and instructed to only move from their post once solemnly replaced by another veteran mimicking the changing of the guard.
Damien Hirst’s largely unkown early work Hans, Georg(1992), consisting of a rotating cast of identical twins sitting below two of his own identical dot paintings, will be restaged at the show.
Marina Abramović’s Luminosity (1997) places a performer on a bicycle seat fixed onto a wall bathed in harsh light, exploring themes of loneliness and spiritual elevation.
Roman Ondák’s Swap (2011) asks a performer to choose an object as they sit behind a table, and when visitors enter the room they are then able to swap the object with anything else they are willing to exchange, while in Chinese artist Xu Zhen’s In Just a Blink of an Eye (2005) a body floats in midair as if frozen, defying both time and gravity, and making the audience question reality and reflect on the work’s seeming impossibility.
Originally commissioned as 11 Rooms by Manchester International Festival, the International Arts Festival Ruhrtriennale 2012–2014 and Manchester Art Gallery, the project was shown as 11 Rooms at Manchester International Festival in July 2011, as 12 Rooms at the International Arts Festival Ruhrtriennale 2012–2014 and as 13 Rooms by Kaldor Public Art Projects at Pier 2/3 in Sydney’s Walsh Bay in April 2013. For each edition, the artists list partially changed.
The China Contemporary Art Award was founded in 1998 by Uli Sigg on the principles of fairness, independence and academic judgment. The award is operated through an independent, not-for-profit institution with the aim of encouraging highly talented Chinese artists and art critics who have produced outstanding work.
From the first artist award in 1998, a prize has been given every two years. Later on the CCAA began to award Best Artist, Best Young Artist and Outstanding Achievement prizes. The CCAA is now an important event on the Chinese art scene.
The CCAA benefits from the unique way its panel is chosen: each member is a director or curator from one of the world’s top institutions, and the panel is divided equally between Chinese and international members. For fifteen years, the CCAA has thoroughly promoted Chinese contemporary art on the world stage and made a major contribution to bringing Chinese artists onto the global art scene.
As contemporary art grows in China, strong support from public institutions will become the central pillar underpinning efforts to balance the market and guide the fast-growing public who are following or contributing to Chinese contemporary art. An art institution that is continually growing requires independent analysis and criticism; in order to highlight this, the CCAA held every two years formalized a system for itself in 2007.
Looking back over the past fifteen years, the CCAA has seen participation from more than 60 of some of the most talented judges both in China and internationally. The achievements of the nineteen winning artists and six critics chosen from close to a thousand entries have been recognized not only through the prize money and the honor of winning; the CCAA has also published 13 books and held three exhibitions.
The end of the year 2012 witnessed the opening of Long Museum Pudong, inaugurated with its opening exhibition “Through All Ages”. On March 28th, 2014, Long Museum West Bund will be officially open to the public, thereby establishing a unique ecosystem of art – “One City, Two Museums.”
For the opening exhibition, Long Museum has invited Mr. Wang Huangsheng to be the chief curator and Cao Qinghui and Guo Xiaoyan as co-curators. Taking the lineages in art history as the thread and leveraging the features of Long Museum collection, we proudly present “Re-View: Opening Exhibition of Long Museum West Bund” in three sections: “Ancient / Contemporary,” “Chinese Paintings / Western Paintings,” and “Cases / History.” The exhibition will show more than 300 artworks by over 200 artists, covering contemporary, modern, and traditional Chinese art.
Contemporary art refers to the art of the “current” age. How contemporary art converses with, extends, and transcends ancient art and the past becomes the entry point of the opening exhibition and the layout of Long Museum West Bund. As an old saying goes, “we shall usher in the current times by deriving from our ancient heritage” (jiegukaijin): to create new ideas based on old traditions. But our starting point is to create, explore, and experiment at the very present times, as we shall relate to, converse with, challenge, and surpass history. The exhibition tries to narrate “history” and expound “views” by creating a structure of contrasts: stating “views” with “history” as the thread and integrating “views” into “history.” We take the exhibition as an opportunity to offer a perspective for interpreting the art history that exists and is taking place, as well as a context in which the status quo and the future of contemporary art can be reviewed (Quotes by Wang Huangsheng).
The exhibition „Room Service“ will gather works from 1833 to today in a two-part project, consisting of a historical exhibition and a tour through the major hotels of the city. The exhibition project devotes itself to the topos of the hotel in the history of art and culture. The historical exhibition in the Kunsthalle will feature works by artists such as Joseph Mallord William Turner, Max Beckmann, Diane Arbus, Andreas Gursky, Martin Kippenberger.
In the second part of the exhibition, to be shown directly in six of the Grand Hotels in the immediate vicinity of the Kunsthalle contemporary works will be installed in a variety of different spaces, in lobbies, rooms, parking facilites etc. These works will either be existing works, for example by Cindy Sherman or Florian Slotawa or be new works developed for the setting by Ian Wallace, Christian Jankowski, Armin Linke and others.
Furthermore Hans Ulrich Obrist is invited to build on his legendary curatorial project, „Hôtel Carlton Palace: Chambre 763“, from 1993, where he hosted a show with 70 artists in his 12 square meter hotel room. As an exhibition within the exhibition he furthermore showed the „Armoire“ exhibition inside the cupboard of the hotel room, thus testing the overall interest in making a large scall show in a very tight physical frame at its most extreme. At the same time he played with the notion of showing art where it was not expected.
On the following page you will find the list of all artists participating in the 1993 version of the „Armoire“ and of the entire „Chambre 763“ exhibition. A seperate publication documenting the original exhibition will be published on occasion of „Room Service“ alongside the overall exhibition catalogue. Furthermore a room in the exhibition at the Kunsthalle will de devoted to a documentation of the exhibition.
However, it was the explicit wish of Hans Ulrich Obrist to make a re-intepretation of the „Armoire“ by combining some of the artists from the original with other younger and more experienced artists, whom today work at the crossroads of design and art. In all 11 artists/groups have been invited for this section. You will also find the names of all artists invited on the following pages.
The exhibition will take place in a room of the Parkhotel Atlantic. The room is located at the very top floor of the charming historical Hotel Atlantic directly across from the Kunsthalle. The exhibition in the cupboard will work like the original exhibition in that visitors are welcome to take the pieces out of the cupboard and use them at their discretion during their stay in the room. There will be information about the „Armoire“ exhibition available in the room. If the individual pieces need specific information for the visitor to use them, we will see how to make this available. The cupboard itself will be a regular old fashioned „armoire“, measuring approximately 150 x 55 x 200 cm. The room will also feature a work from the original exhibition by Rainer Ruthenbeck laying on the middle of the bed, a black square object titled „Leckerli“, that was exhibited in a second adjacent room by itself in 1993.
NEW YORK – The Armory Show is pleased to announce that Xu Zhen has been chosen as the commissioned artist for the 2014 edition. Xu Zhen, a “chameleon of concept,” has built an extensive body of work that includes video, installation, performance, and photography. From theatrical merry pranks to quieter works playing on human sensitivity, Xu Zhen has developed a repertoire confronting social-political taboos within the context of contemporary China and beyond.
“I am very honored to be named the The Armory Show 2014 Commissioned Artist. The fair offers an strong platform for exchange, and for dialogue around art, the market and its many interrelated institutions and ideas,” says Xu Zhen.
Armory Focus: China, curated by Philip Tinari, Director of The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, aims to illuminate the strength, dynamism, seriousness and originality of the Chinese art scene and system today. Tinari notes that “Xu Zhen’s participation will further activate many crucial questions meant to be raised by Armory Focus: China. Throughout his career, Xu Zhen has been at the forefront of critical thinking about the role of art and artists in contemporary China, engaging smartly and humorously with many of the big issues facing cultural production there today. It is also particularly thrilling that this year’s Armory Focus: China coincides with Xu Zhen’s major mid-career survey exhibition at UCCA.”
Experimenting with the possibilities of curatorial education and its potential to impact cultural development, CAFA Art Museum has invited six leading curatorial programs from the U.S.A., Europe, and China to join in the organization of the Biennale. Representing California College of the Arts, San Francisco; China Central Academy of Fine Art, Beijing; China Academy of Art, Hangzhou; de Appel arts centre, Amsterdam; École du Magasin, Grenoble, and the Royal College of Art, London, faculty members and alumni have collaborated on the overall conception and execution of this unique project as well as worked independently to present six distinct but related exhibitions that feature artworks from 70 artists and groups.
The title of the Biennale—The Invisible Hand—refers to Adam Smith’s metaphor describing the self-regulating behavior of the marketplace. In the context of the six respective exhibitions the metaphor is extended to intimate something of the histories, methodologies, and theories that inform curating, without leaving visible traces of their impact.
While they offer a variety of interpretations of the overarching theme, Smith’s presence is directly acknowledged in artistic gestures of political, social, sexual, and imaginative resistance to dominant modes of liberal politics and capitalist economics.
At the same time, the museum is revealed as a theater of objects, which despite the mechanisms of display and interpretation yet enact their own tales. Its dense acreage of its storage areas is additionally understood as humanity’s cellar, the contents of which mirror our histories, while temporary displays in the galleries only reflect our prevailing ideologies. Curatorial and the artistic gestures of selecting, arranging, organizing, and displaying overlap and collide. Modes of classification favored by modern museology are usurped by artistic acts of selection and sorting which eschew order in favor of rupture.
Through the exhibition and its associated conference and publication, the Biennale will thus highlight and promote the role of curating as a practice that constructs knowledge as part of an expanded ecology, which is integrated with academic education and social practice.
Participating artists include Ding Yi, Geng Jianyi, Hu Jieming, Wang Youshen, Xu Zhen,Yang Fudong, Yu Youhan and Zhang Enli, those works are barely displayed in public and never displayed in ShanghART Beijing.
Since ShanghART Beijing founded in 2008, till 2013 we have experienced for five years. From the number to say, “5” is a figure that is easy to be amplified, this number puts people on the axis that can both looking back over the past and expecting forward for the future. If we say “5” is a time concept unit, then the “+” represents a clear attitude rather than a physical definition. “5+” is a start of a new page, is an inheritance and a continuation. “5+” is the expectation for the next five years, and a beginning of a new journey. “5+”is a opening formula, when the time drifting away, the unfinished keep been pursued, there will be a new number appear behind “+”. As the first exhibition of ShanghART Beijing in 2014, “Possibility” is a keyword to be stressed, be hoped for.
This December, the international art crowd convened in Miami again for the 2013 edition of Art Basel Miami Beach, the goliath art fair along with a myriad of satellite fairs and events. For any fair-goers who might feel interested or even just curious about Chinese contemporary art, “28 Chinese” at the Rubell Family Collection is a must-see.
As the culmination of the collector couple Don and Mera Rubell’s six research trips to China since 2001, “28 Chinese” features paintings, sculptures, photographs and video installations by 28 Chinese artists, and occupies the majority of galleries in the foundation’s 40,000 square-foot building. A quick skim through the artist list begins to reveal the unusualness of this show. Among the 28 artists, the only generally familiar names to American audiences are Ai Weiwei, Zhu Jinshi, Zhang Huan, Huang Yongping and Zhang Enli, all of whose work have seen more widespread representation and circulation in the Western art system. Here, Ai Weiwei and Zhang Huan are represented by several classic pieces from their most important series, with two iconic works by Ai Weiwei—“Ton of Tea” (2005), a minimalist cubic sculpture of compressed tea leaves, and “Table with Two Legs” (2008), a wooden sculpture reconstructed from two Qing-dynasty tables—and Zhang Huan’s “12 Square Meters” (1994), “1/2” (1998), “To Add One Meter to an Anonymous Mountain” (1995) and “To Raise The Water Level in a Fishpond” (1995), all relatively older but still some of the most important performances in Zhang’s career.
While Ai and Zhang’s pieces delineate some popular themes and ethos common in the early works of Chinese contemporary art—traditional aesthetics and the spirit of collectivization—powerful works by Huang Yongping and Zhang Enli are absent in this exhibition. Huang Yongping’s disturbing installation “Well” (2007), with several ceramic pots of decaying snake, bat, goat head taxidermies posing as if they are looking out of the pots, is his only piece in the show. This work is meant as a metaphor for the power relations between East and West—the former constantly and involuntarily observed by the latter as “cultures of otherness”, while people feel scared but too powerless to escape from this awkward situation. Even if we leave out its necrotizing smell, in reality, the work does not serve the artist’s original intention well. As viewers step onto the wooden platforms in front of the pots and peer inside, the dead animals’ unexpected stares alarm the viewers instead, removing the meaning from this work. As for Zhang Enli, his four works depicting a wooden crate, two toilets and the back of people’s heads in this show are slightly disappointing, as they are neither the most sensational nor the most introspective pieces made by the artist.
The opening exhibition at the Sifang Art Museum designed by Steven Holl Architects re-considers the utopian tradition of philosophical gardens in China. Within this evinced context the exhibition connects a variety of subject mater, such as the meaning of monuments and folly gardens, or the body, hedonism and experience economy.
The exhibition will include works made especially for the occasion by acclaimed international artists such as He An, Gabriel Lester and MadeIn Company / Xu Zhen, and emerging Nanjing-based artist Li Jingxiong. Next to these site-specific works, the exhibition features works on loan and from the permanent collection of the Sifang Art Museum by important international artists like Olafur Eliasson, Liang Wei, Yutaka Sone, Danh Vo, Duan Jianyu, Marlene Dumas, Kan Xuan, Anselm Kiefer, Mao Yan, Lucy Raven, Luc Tuymans, Yang Fudong, Zhang Enli, Zhou Chunya, Zhang Peili etc.
The opening event will also feature the first viewing of the architectural masterpieces designed by award winning architects including Steven Holl, Irata Isozaki, Wang Shu, David Adjaye, Ai Weiwei, Matti Sanaksenaho and many others.