Posts tagged Chinese art
At the March First Thursday Art Walk in Pioneer Square, I discovered Seattle artist Weng Chen of Studio Wonn, who is originally from China. I really like her visual aesthetic, and her work is quite inexpensive.
Her work at her studio during First Thursday was primarily Giclée prints and watercolors. On display at her studio is an explanation of her Giclée creation process, which always starts with hand-drawing on paper.
These are a busy couple of weeks for the arts in Beijing. From this past Wednesday to next weekend, the city will host no fewer than four major visual and performing arts festivals and fairs.
This past Sunday, I finally made it to the exhibition “Christian Dior and Chinese Artists” at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing’s 798. I had heard it was great but was skeptical. Was this exhibition going to be one big, classless advertisement for Dior? Fashion has an obvious connection to art made public by many museums, so how was this unique?
Every once in a while I have an experience that reminds me why I want to work for arts clients. My visit to the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) on an unusual Friday off was one of them. Most of the works in the current exhibition made me smile, some made me nearly cry, and even fewer made me grimace. Overall, this art center is a reminder of the positive effects of globalization and art’s vital role in society.
UCCA is considered China’s first nonprofit art organization. Its founders and some of its upper management are foreign, but almost all the art is Chinese, and all of it is contemporary. It’s the only organization in Beijing’s 798 Art Zone to charge admission, but every Thursday is free, and I went during the end of a period about two weeks long of free admission every day in celebration of the Olympics. The bulk of the current work comes from the personal collection of Guy and Myriam Ullens, the center’s founders. Most of its art is from really famous artists, so it inspires to me to see this work available for viewing and experiencing in such a publicly accessible way.
I almost had a heart attack when I discovered “Bloodline Series – Family Portrait 1” by Zhang Xiaogang tucked away in the main exhibition room’s corner. This series will probably be as famous as Andy Warhol’s portraits someday, if it isn’t already. Unlike most of the other fragile work by famous artists at UCCA, it was hung at eye level, making it vulnerable to vandalism, both unintentional and intentional.
I maintain that because Chinese people like to touch visual art much more than I’m used to, good artists who create art for Chinese visitors make it interactive. To enter the exhibition, visitors go through “Space Time Tunnel” by Wang Du, the same artist who created “International Kebab,” my favorite exhibition I’ve seen in 798. Its entrance contains a claustrophobia disclaimer with directions to an alternate entrance. One of my favorite Chinese artists, Cao Fei, made a Second Life world called “RMB City” that is a futuristic combination of famous buildings in all Chinese cities that visitors can explore on a computer.
UCCA may also be one of the best places in Beijing for tourists to shop. I wish I could buy all my postcards there, but alas, they are quite pricey: 10元 (currently about $1.50) each. I may reserve UCCA postcards for family members.
Have you ever had an experience with art that inspired you personally or professionally? Please tell!
I knew sports and entertainment public relations were similar – both involve obtaining sponsorships and managing perceptions of personalities, for starters. But I had failed to notice the direct connection the Olympics has with the arts. This is especially apparent to me, as I work in and live right by the Beijing 798 Art Zone, which has been compared to New York’s SoHo.
In terms of how this affects my daily life, my neighborhood, despite its distance from any major Olympic venues, is clad in Olympic fever. Every shop directly across the street from the 798
The entire city is flooded with tourists, my work, T Space, being no exception. It seems like every gallery in 798 but mine is presenting an Olympic-themed exhibition; however, everyone has a different take on presenting the Olympics. Galleria Continua’s response is to host “Unmoved,” which forces you to take longer than you usually would to look at works in a
And why wouldn’t they? The New York Times reported that the Olympics will bring 10,000 guests a day to 798, three times the typical number. One of my coworkers told me that half the diplomats visiting
Have you observed any connections between art and sports? What are your thoughts on art’s relationship to the Olympics? I welcome your comments.
Most of what I’ve been doing since I started my job in 798 a little over a week ago is making my way through a 12-page, single-spaced list of Web sites related to Chinese contemporary art that my boss provided me with. I’d like to share some of my favorite artists and art organizations. This likely will become a regular post topic, and maybe I’ll come up with themes, such as favorite photography. Contemporary art mavens likely are already familiar with these links.
Cao Fei 曹斐 specializes in new media, and works in a variety of visual art genres. A lot of her work is colorful and reminds me of high-fashion advertisements.
Zhang Huan 張洹 is an accomplished artist born in Beijing who lives in New York. He works in variety of media but I’m pretty sure he’s most famous for his nude performance art made during the 1990s. I saw a photograph of his performance To Add One Meter to an Anonymous Mountain at the Seattle Art Museum last summer. His work is depressing but ingenious.
Hong Hao 洪浩 created several installations with “my things” in their titles. The image above, “My Things About Circle No. 2,” is currently my computer’s wallpaper.
Feng Jincao created a series of paintings titled “Scenery in a Chinese Dress.” I really like these, as all of them are purposefully not-quite-mirror images. Many of them look like modified Rorschach test cards.
Among other works, Qian Gang creates two-tone black-and-white silkscreens that contain cartoon-like illustration.
1918 ArtSpace in Shanghai has a great Web site; you can spend hours looking at the art on there. The gallery mostly exhibits Chinese artists with a few exceptions.
China Creative Connections in Beijing, founded by an advertising executive, is a consulting firm to connect art and business through opportunities such as exhibit sponsorship and visual art buying for offices.
What are your favorite Chinese contemporary art links? Which is your favorite out of the ones in this post? Feel free to comment.