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Archive for May, 2009

Chinese Contemporaries

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

I have to admit I’ve loved Chinese contemporary art from the moment it attracted my attention. Now that may sound impressive but unfortunately I’ve only been introduced shortly on Chinese painters and artists during the Beijing Olympics of 2008.

It was then that I first laid eyes on iconic artist Yue Minjun. His trademark are the self-portraits that all bear a wide smile or should I say grin. It is symbolising the suppression by the Chinese government; while horrible things happen, always keep smiling to the outside world. A very simple but powerful message.

Zhang Yajie is another important Chinese contemporary. He mainly depicts the Chinese youth in the streets. Yajie mainly works in black and grey.

Next I would like to draw some attention to the installation art of Xu Bing. Xu and many other Chinese contemporary artists began to draw on traditional philosophies such as Taoism to create distinctly modern, distinctly Chinese political comment. They also freely mixed traditional methods such as ink painting and scrollwork with Western techniques.

For “A Book from the Sky” Xu created 4 000 nonsense Chinese written characters, carved them into wood panels in the style of the 11th century Sung Dynasty, and displayed the work on a scroll. It took almost three years of boring work from 1987 to 1991.

Our bonus painting is by Fu Lei who I just discovered on the website of a Chinese museum

edit: apparently the last few images are being cropped badly, I’ll fix this later