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by Owen Hatherley, Allen Lane, £16.99 (hardcover)

There are no easy answers. Wang Xingwei, New Beijing , Are contemporary Chinese artists, whose recent history has been one of cultural lockdown, still negotiating the principles of modernism along with 21st-century concepts?

IMPRO 2012: Dating-Scenes (National Theatre of the World)

Is there a certain freedom that comes with not being mired in Western traditions and the attendant market? Cultural styles such as Soviet Social Realism became integrated into the art system. We are showing these shared histories through another lens.

Art and China After 1989: Theater of the World

The freedom many of the artists in our show convey is like the freedom of an atheist; having lost faith in any ruling ideology, including modernism, they have only their individual reality to stand by. For these artists, reality is their first and last resort. Suddenly, in the early s, contemporary art, as such, becomes acceptable. By you have a thriving art market and a whole range of public art spaces.

Art and China after — Theater of the World | Christie's

For many of the artists in our exhibition, this evolution was entirely unexpected, and they have stayed true to their interests and convictions while negotiating the new turf it has opened. Before , the Chinese avant-garde community — operating in a certain semi-underground manner — discovered and explored Western influences, especially modernist heritage and post-modern trends. And they gained new visions, ambitions, and strategies. How to invent new concepts of artistic creation — combining or updating the traditional, the modern, the contemporary, the national, the international — has always been a part of the collective obsession.

Chinese artists have a key role to play in inventing what we call the contemporary of today — and tomorrow. There will be lots of talk about what this exhibition is —and even whether it is a show of Chinese art at all, since so many of the artists live abroad. Yet even as some works echo Marcel Duchamp and Joseph Beuys, almost everything points to China or views it head-on.

The closer you look at the roots, the deeper they seem to go.


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Part of what you see are growing pains. In the painting Mao Zedong: The painting also salutes the forbidden abstraction that was seductive to many artists in Mao's time. Nearby is a meditation on information as power. Standard Version from the "Cihai" Dictionary reminds us that fake news was the norm back then, as a deadpan news anchor ignores the Tiananmen Massacre.


  1. Event Plan a GALA CHARITY BALL (Plan Like a Chef)?
  2. Stuff to Die For (The Stuff Series).
  3. One of the Largest Exhibitions of Contemporary Art from China Presented in North America.
  4. Rem Koolhaas, foreseeing and observing changes in the landscape, produced volumes of research on the upheaval in the Pearl River region of the south. Much of it is on view.

    Plenty to chew on: on Theatre of the World at the Guggenheim

    And the output and persecution of Ai Weiwei is impossible to see absent of current events, small and large. So does the riddle of why artists who defied the Chinese Communist party—and survived—were stymied by the protests of animal lovers in New York. Upon hearing that his sculpture has been emptied of reptiles and insects, Huang Yong Ping recorded his thoughts on an in-flight Air France airsickness bag.

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    An empty cage is not, by itself, reality. Guggenheim Foundation, New York. The curators worked with an international advisory committee that has met under the auspices of the China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, and the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing.

    The show, which was met with protest before it even opened, packs a punch

    Press Office Exhibition Art and China after Organized in six chronological, thematic sections, the exhibition includes: It also features work addressing the Tiananmen protest movement that arose within months of that show, and the June 4th massacre that ended the s decade of liberal reform. Analyzing the Situation — In the aftermath of the events of , artists experienced a crisis of confidence towards authority systems, bureaucracy, language and ideology and turned towards conceptualist practices to expose processes that perpetuate structural authoritarianism. Acts of Sensation — Artists looked beyond China as they began to participate in international biennials and reconnect with contemporary currents through travels and publications.

    This section focuses on the development of extreme durational performance art and video art as key tools to explore the tension between individualism and collectivism during the mid to late s. Activism and Alternatives circa — When skepticism of the validation generated by the awarding of the Beijing Olympics in combined with the catastrophic events of the Sichuan earthquake and the global financial collapse of , it yielded concerted social activism in the form of multi-year, utopian-themed projects.

    Facilitated by the Internet, artists, collectives, activists, critics and curators sought to take art outside museums and galleries and into society itself, restoring the revolutionary purpose of art to change society. This two-part sculptural installation is a metaphor for accelerating globalization and explores the duality between social chaos and coexistence through a presentation of insects and reptiles inhabiting a cage-like version of the panopticon, an 18th-century structure created for omnipresent surveillance.