“Breaking the Image: Methods in the Treatment of Imagery by Contemporary Artists from China” : Upcoming Exhibition at Beijing’s Si Shang Art Museum

Time:04/26/2015 4:00 PM – 06/13/2015

Location: Beijing Si Shang Art Museum (East Huosi Rd., Zhangxizhuang, Shunyi Dist., Beijing)

Curator:Linbin Liu

Coordinator: Linyao Kiki Liu


This exhibition is divided into thirteen units, exhibiting 240 works by 62 artists

01.  Destroying the Image:Chen Danqing、LuoZhongli(Documents Display)

02.  Spreading You Thin:Zhang Peili、GengJianyi

03.  Blade of an Era: Wang Guangyi, ShuQun

04.  Skin Tones:Zhan Wang、 Zhang Xiaogang, Qi Zhilong, Wang Shaojun, Yu Fan, Cui Xiuwen, Li Zhanyang, Cao Hui, Lu Zhengyuan

05.  The Laughing Mirror: Fang Lijun

06.  Flowing River Current: Su Xinping, Yang Jinsong, Qin Qi, Shen Liang, Jiang Huajun, Luo Qi, XueFeng

07.  Agitating the Surface :Li Songsong

08.  Needles within the Seems: Jiang Zhi, Wang Guangle, Kang Jianfei, Chen Xi, Zhang Yanzi, Chen Yujun, Li Qing, He Jinwei, Song Yuanyuan, Li Yijia, Zhang Yexing, Wang Yu

09.  Flesh Beneath the Skin: Sui Jianguo, Pang Maokun, Wang Huaxiang, Fan Bo, Tang Hui, Liang Shuo, Wu Didi, Qi Peng, Hu Qingyan, Diao Wei

10.  Put Together: Wang Chuan, XieNanxing, Hang Chunhui, Wang Kai, Zhang Mengyuan, Tan Tian, Li Linlin, Liu Xia, Zhang Yufei.

11.  Deceiving the Eyes: Hu Xiaoyuan, Dong Yuan

12.  Anti-Image:XieDongming, Wang Keju, Liu Shangying, Shi Yu, Pei Yongmei

13.  Inaccessible:The Disciples of Richter…(Empty Gallery Space)


With No Destruction, There is No Construction; There is No Flowing without Damming and No Motion Without Rest; Without an End, There is no Beginning 

        The invention of photography denoted the artist’s calm, or bold “break away.” To a certain extent, a portion of western modernist art history may be regarded as artistic breakaway history. This overflow of images had a great impact on artists.After China’s opening up, its art world encountered the pictorial bombardment of western artworks. At that time, artists eagerly watched and read whatever they could get their hands on. This transformed the fuzzy understanding of many works of art, clearing up misunderstandings surrounding these artistic forms.Of course, artists soon became aware of a certain kind of pressure, as faced with the splendid language of western painting, some chose to imitate, or unconsciously align themselves with these new forms.At the same time, another group of artists, inspired by ideas of self-consciousness, embarked on the endless journey, exploring artistic language.

        Within the Chinese art world, “dialogue with images” has given rise to several important events: 1. The birth of Native soil realist paintings during the early 1980s; 2.The corresponding Hangzhou “Pool Society” artists’ criticism of the Sichuan academy with their selection of flat painting techniques; 3.(Although the original intentions with the “Pool Society” differed) the “Northern Art Group’s” similar employment of cold, non-emotional brushwork; 4.The emanation of “emerging artists” as well as “political pop” artists during the early 1990s; 5. The popularity of “Richter’s flat painting techniques” at the turn of the Century, and concurrent solo exhibition held at the National Museum of Art in 2008 6.“Li Songsong’s impasto technique” whose style is popular at the moment. Followed by the latter two, under a “deconstructionist” framework, a flood of various “approaches in simple misappropriation” included images of “Mao,” and “Marilyn Monroe,” both of which were most often symbolically represented.  7. Around 2006, with the fourth generation of critics, who when beginning to debate this issue, sided with the notion of “the prosperity of abstract art.” But within less than ten years, we are grieved to discover that the majority of abstract art has become “decorative painting” or simply a “conceptual painting tool.”  Despite the stimulating visit of Achille Bonito Olivia to China, the “abstract” is being prematurely over-drafted by the market.

        From 1970 up until today, through time, space and unceasing technological iterations, images have emerged from a singular dimension into a diverse array of visual “flesh.” The intentions of the curator for this exhibition is not to materialize a comprehensive history of contemporary Chinese art history, and more importantly, not to focus on the political intentions of “heroic shapings.” There is no deliberately derived style, capitulation of novelty, close study, or any indication of major historical events. Rather, the exhibition seeks to employ the most common form of “looking”by reflecting on history, the preservation of memories, and the reconstruction of a critical and dimensional skeptical framework as an attempt to locate our own visual logic.

        The exhibition is composed of thirteen vividly candid themes, sixty-two artists, and 240 works. Former youngsters have become masters. How does the language and logic of contemporary Chinese art infiltrate the artist’s life processes and modes of thinking? 


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