Posts Tagged ‘China’
Since being arrested in 2011, China’s most provocative and controversial artist, Ai Weiwei has not ben allowed to leave the country, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t overseen the entire scope of According to What?, his mid-career retrospective that opened at the Brooklyn Museum this month. Read More
When Time Magazine made its feature “How China Sees The World” the cover story of this week’s issue, it chose controversial Chinese dissident artist Ai WeiWei to create the amazing image accompanying it. Time’s Managing Editor Rick Stengel called the image in support of the article exploring the Communist nation’s newfound power and influence a work of “artistic supremacy,” Read More
Hot on the heels of last week’s release of Ai Weiwei’s heavy metal single and music video protesting his recent imprisonment by the Chinese government, the artist cranked up the heat on the ordeal with the debut of his controversial new show “S.A.C.R.E.D,” at the Venice Biennale yesterday. The installation is comprised of a series of dioramas encased in iron boxes depicting various scenes from Weiwei’s 81-day-long incarceration in 2011 Read More
China’s most prominent modern artist Ai Weiwei—known as much for his formidable conceptual art career as his relentlessly outspoken stance against the Chinese government—has just released a dangerously controversial new song and music video called “Dumbass.” The Deftones-ish metal song’s Mandarin lyrics explicitly attack the Communist Chinese government’s intolerance of artistic freedom and an accompanying music video directed by Read More
Revered NYC-based hellraiser artist Paul McCarthy, who’s built a career on creating incredibly difficult “punk” fine art—with highlights including sculptures of chocolate butt plugs and George W Bush sodomizing pigs—has put his indelible stamp on China’s new West Kowloon Cultural District Sculpture Park in Hong Kong with a giant pile of human feces. Read More
Seemingly the hub of all economic development these days, China is leading the way in architecture with some of the world’s most modern & beautiful structures popping up in the country at breakneck speed (unfortunately, there’s also a lot of really ugly, empty ones, unsafe ones, too). Iraqi-born British architect Zaha Hadid’s newest and easily most beautiful structure to date, the 330,000-square-metre Galaxy Soho retail/office/entertainment complex in Beijing now tops that list. Read More
While the Chinese modern art market of recent years with its fast rising cult-of-personality art stars was ultimately born to fail—and with the recent economic meltdown, fail it has—the shining light of the red country’s art world continues to glow in the form of CAI GUO-QIANG. Drawing freely from ancient mythology, military history, Taoist cosmology, extraterrestrial observations, Maoist revolutionary tactics, Buddhist philosophy, gunpowder-related technology, Chinese medicine, and methods of terrorist violence, Cai’s art is a form of social energy, constantly mutable, linking what he refers to as “the seen and unseen worlds.” His newly unveiled retrospective, “I Want to Believe,” at the GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM, Bilbao (the second stop on a global tour that began in 2008 at the Guggenheim NYC), presents the full spectrum of the artist’s protean, multimedia art in all its conceptual complexity.
Born in Quanzhou, Fujian Province, China, in 1957, Cai studied stage design at the Shanghai Drama Institute. In the 1980s he emerged as a member of the burgeoning experimental art world of China’s postreform era. After moving to Japan in 1986, Cai tapped into a rich vein of international 20th-century art and critical thought. While living there, he mastered the use of gunpowder to create his signature gunpowder drawings and the related outdoor explosion events. These practices integrate science and art in a process of creative destruction and reflect Cai’s philosophy that conflict and transformation are interdependent conditions of life, and hence art. At once intuitive and analytical, his gunpowder drawings and explosion events are intrepid, conceptual, site specific, ephemeral, time based, and interactive—performance art with a new matrix of cultural meaning.
Cai has lived in New York since 1995. While increasing his participation in the global art system of biennials, public celebrations, and museum exhibitions around the world, Cai’s social projects engage local communities to produce art events in remote, nonart sites like military bunkers, a socialist utopianism influenced by Cai’s experience growing up in Mao’s Red China and during the Cultural Revolution of 1966–76. His recent work has expanded to include large-scale installations, allegorical and sculptural, that recuperate signs and symbols of Chinese culture and expose the dialectics of local history and globalization.
Designed by the artist as a site-specific installation, the Guggenheim’s exhibition presents art as a process that unfolds in time and space, dealing with ideas of transformation, expenditure of materials, and connectivity. The structure of Cai’s art forms are inherently unstable, but his social idealism characterizes all change, however violent, as carrying the seeds of positive creation. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
We certainly saw this coming a mile away…
The intersection of the fashion and art worlds has become an increasingly trafficked corridor of late, and the show “Christian Dior and Chinese Artists,” that opened at Beijing’s ULLENS CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY ART last week, seeks to satiate China’s seemingly endless appetite for both Western fashion and modern art. Featuring newly commissioned works that express the “essence of Dior” by leading Chinese artists Wang Du, Zhang Huan, Huang Rui, Li Songsong, Zhang Dali, Xu Zhongmin, Liu Jianhua, Zheng Guogu, Lu Hao, Wang Qingsong, Yan Lei, Zhang Xiaogang, Wen Fang, Shi Jingsong, Wang Gongxin, Quentin Shih, Liu Wei, Rong Rong & Inri, Tim Yip, Qiu Zhijie, and Ma Yan Song—displayed alongside epic couture pieces by the brand, the fashion house seeks to further glamorize its stunning aesthetic legacy with an art show of visual hits and misses. Highlights of the show include otherwise socially conscious artist ZHANG DALI’s portrait of Dior designer JOHN GALLIANO using repeating tonal “AK-47” text (although these homages are usually reserved for victims of gun violence); LI SONGSONG‘s two-story Dior purse constructed of fluorescent tubes; and WANG QINGSONG’s Last Supper photo featuring Dior-clad models and the artist himself in hospital pajamas as Christ. While the incredibly hot Chinese art scene has turned into a massive factory system with top artists churning out works created by an army of assistants (often sold directly through art auctions) at breakneck pace, the marriage of the two commodities seems to mostly work in this collaboration and surely hits the spot for the domestic audience for which it’s intended. God knows in this economy all major brands will have their sights focused firmly on China in the coming years with marketing blitzes that will surely make the branding extravaganzas over the last five years in Western markets seem like a warmup run. HAVE A LOOK:
The undeniable presence of China in the NYC art scene is an influence that will only continue to grow over the next decade as America’s almighty loanholder continues to export its finest imagists at a breakneck rate. Luckily—unlike the forthcoming Chinese cars—the mostly figurative artists are also some of the world’s most visionary. One such notable example is the performance artist turned painter/sculptor ZHANG HUAN whose new sculpture, “Giant 3” is a colossal 15-foot-tall figure made from cowhides, steel, wood, and polystyrene foam that centers Chelsea’s must-see show of the moment at the venerable PACE WILDENSTEIN GALLERY. Filling out the show which spans the gallery’s two large exhibition spaces are a wide array of equally inspired smaller sculptures and paintings by the artist, the most notable of which are a series of vintage red propaganda-inspired “paintings” made up entirely of grains of ash from burned temple incense. HAVE A LOOK: Read More