Gender in Chinese contemporary art


22 FEBRUARY, 14:00-18:30

This international symposium, co-organised by Tate Research Centre: Asia and Central Academy of Fine Arts China, will explore the role that gender has played in the development of Chinese contemporary art.

The symposium is split into two sessions. The first gives a critical overview of the subject, including a paper by Monica Merlin that will provide a history of contemporary art by women in China, a paper by Ros Holmes that will take up the new condition of artistic creation and distribution through digital and mediated spaces, and a panel discussion moderated by Wenny Teo. The second session will focus on individual practices, with artist presentations from Nabuqi, Ma Qiusha and Ye Funa followed by a discussion moderated by Song Xiaoxia. Continue reading

Jiang Zhi on censorship

Source: Sup China (1/9/18)
Chinese Artist: Censorship Stems From ‘Bizarre And Ridiculous Sort Of Fear’
Tr. Eleanor Goodman

Translator’s note: The Shenzhen-Hong Kong Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture — a prominent international exhibition of visual art, sculpture, murals, installations, architectural proposals, urban thought experiments, and events — opened on December 15, 2017, and was struck by controversy the following day, when organizers removed a piece of artwork by the well-known young artist Jiang Zhi 蒋志. The piece reappeared two weeks later in the main exhibition hall, only to be removed again a few days afterward in advance of a tour by local Shenzhen officials.

More than 200 exhibits under the main theme “Cities, Grow in Difference” are still offered around the city, with the primary exhibition site located in Nantou Old Town, a historic “urban village” of the kind that has been systematically demolished over the last two decades. Although an introduction to Jiang’s work can still be found on the website (in both the English and Chinese versions), his physical artwork remains unavailable to viewers. Below is a statement that Jiang wrote in response to the situation. The remaining exhibitions will be on display until March 15. Eleanor Goodman Continue reading

French-Chinese artist couple disappeared (2)

It’s good the woman is well, but what about the husband, Hu Jiamin? The reports say he was hauled off separately, and is still incomunicado, according to several news media, such as: Continue reading

French-Chinese artist couple disappeared

A French-Chinese artist couple has just been disappeared in Shenzhen, apparently by Chinese plainclothes police/thugs. See story below for full report and pictures of the artwork, a mural painting of an empty chair, which apparently aroused the paranoid censors:–fwd by Magnus Fiskesjö <>

Source: BBC News (12/22/17)
France couple in China unreachable after Liu Xiaobo tribute

Hu Jiamin and Marine Brossard beside their mural

Two artists from France have been unreachable in China after they painted a tribute to the late Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, sparking concern over their whereabouts.

Hu Jiamin and Marine Brossard painted a mural showing an empty blue chair at an art exhibition in Shenzhen last week.

The mural was quickly covered up and plainclothes policeman took the couple away, Hong Kong media report. Journalists and friends say they have since been unable to contact the duo. Continue reading

Dafen village faces redevelopment as art park

Source: The World of Chinese (12/18/17)
The Writing on the Walls
Shenzhen’s Dafen village, once the world’s painting factory, faces redevelopment as an “art park.” But what will happen to its artists?
By Phoebe Zhang

From a distance, one could take Yang Ming for a teenager. About five-foot two, his skinny arms and legs in a white T-shirt and jeans, Yang’s left shoulder is permanently hunched because of a childhood injury, making it hard to distinguish his head from behind.

With his right hand, Yang raises a paintbrush, glancing from time to time at a picture on his phone, before resuming his reproduction of a Van Gogh masterpiece, “The Harvest.” The process is sometimes interrupted by tourists who wander into the alleyway to appraise his work. At his feet lies his border collie, Didu, while above them both hangs a portrait of the dog—lying on a grassy hill, rather than a ramshackle alley. It’s one of several original works he’s trying to sell nowadays. Continue reading

Can We Talk about Dialogue?

MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of “Can We Talk About Dialogue? A Prescript to Art and China after 1989,” David Borgonjon’s take on the current contemporary Chinese art exhibition at the Guggenheim in New York. The essay appears below, but is best read online at:

Enjoy, Kirk

Can We Talk about Dialogue
A Pre-script to Art and China after 1989

By David Borgonjon

MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright December 2017)

Xiao Lu, Dialogue, 1989, performance and installation.

The Guggenheim Museum in New York currently has on view an expansive survey of Chinese contemporary art; as many of the reviews on the subject show, it focuses on the long shadow of Tiananmen. Yet, this survey is also an opportunity to rewrite the art-historical period that Theater of the World: Art and China, 1989-2008 covers. Such a rewritten narrative could do worse than to zone in from the scale of the state to the scale of the family; love, the origin story, retells the institution of the family as a voluntary association in the age of the market. If this is a story about 1989, it is different than the one we were told. Continue reading

Tango Gao finds art and humor in the mundane

Source: Sup China (12/12/17)
Tango Gao Finds Art And Humor In The Mundane
Beloved Shanghai illustrator and visual artist releases his first English book in the U.S.
By Jiayun Feng

I meet the comic illustrator known as Tango — real name Gao Youjun 高幼军 — in a studio in the West Village on a chilly day in early December. He is dressed casually and neatly, in a dark green plaid shirt and black-framed glasses, giving off an air of ease and simplicity — two features that also define his work: penguins standing in formation; various animals looking at their shadows; cats playing Go. Fresh off a signing event for his first English book, Backside of the Moon, Gao looks relaxed and satisfied, as if he’s exactly where he belongs. Continue reading

Ai Weiwei on “Human Flow”

List members may be interested in this interview with Ai Weiwei on HUMAN FLOW–Ai’s lyrical, investigative documentary on the global refugee crisis–conducted by my colleague Cynthia Rowell and I for CINEASTE magazine. We discussed art, activism, beauty, freedom, and humanity. Many questions focus on Ai’s growth as a liberated, cosmopolitan artist from China and belonging to the world. Thank you for your time!

Best regards,

Lulu Chen <>

Pan Tianshou exhibition in Hangzhou

Source: China Daily (12/5/17)
Largest Pan Tianshou exhibition opens in Hangzhou

Poster of the exhibition. [Photo provided to]

An Ethos of Fortitude – The Exhibition in Commemoration of Pan Tianshou’s 120th Anniversary, opened Friday at the Zhejiang Art Museum in Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang province. The exhibition is the largest presentation of Pan’s works, with over 120 pieces of his artwork and manuscripts.

Pan Tianshou was a master of Chinese painting and an educator on art in the 20th century. He was born in Zhejiang province, and later took up positions as president of the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts (now the China Academy of Art), vice-president of the China Artists Association and vice-president of the Xiling Seal Engravers Society. Continue reading

Tate fellowship

Open Call
Visiting Fellowship Scheme 2018

Tate welcomes applications for the Tate Research Centre: Asia Visiting Fellowship Scheme.

This Visiting Fellowship Scheme provides scholars and curators the opportunity to realise a short-term research project in the field of modern and contemporary Asian art. Individuals engaged in the programme will be able to access information relating to works in the Tate collection and draw on the resources in Tate’s library and archive.  This is an ideal opportunity for a scholar or curator who wishes to undertake research at Tate and is keen to share their work on an international platform. The terms of the individual fellowships will be agreed after consultation with the successful applicants. However, all fellows are expected to:

  • Produce a final report summarising the research project.
  • Contribute research to one of Tate’s online publication platforms
  • Convene a seminar or lecture at Tate or at a partner organisation.

Continue reading

Shenzhen’s new culture centre

Source: SCMP (12/1/17)
Shenzhen’s new V&A-approved culture centre to showcase city’s artistic side
The Chinese megacity has grown rapidly over the last 35 years and with its new Sea World Culture and Arts Centre opening in December it’s looking to make as big an impact in culture as it has in industry
By Cathy Adams

Artist’s rendering of the full Design Society complex in Shenzhen, created by architect Fumihiko Maki.

Artist’s rendering of the full Design Society complex in Shenzhen, created by architect Fumihiko Maki

Shenzhen is a border town, tech hub, factory floor and somewhere Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas has labelled a “generic city”: malleable enough to change its form with the times.

This Pearl River Delta megalopolis is China’s richest city, having grown from 30,000 inhabitants in 1980 – when it was designated the first special economic zone – to almost 12 million today. With Shenzhen’s mushrooming size (the fourth-highest megatall in the world, the Ping An Finance Centre, glares across the river towards Hong Kong) comes ballooning ambition, because Koolhaas’s generic city is now eyeing developments in art and design. Continue reading

HK artists and activists turn to zines (1)

This is a fascinating story.

I can’t help share an article just published by a student of mine. It’s entitled “Feminist Ephemera in a Digital World: Theorizing Zines as Networked Feminist Practice.” Abstract is here:

The author of this article also has a fabulous lesson plan about how to teach activism and social movements through the making of zines:

Guobin Yang <>

HK artists and activists turn to zines

Source: SCMP (11/25/17)
Why Hong Kong artists and activists are turning to zines in the digital age
The independently published ‘pocket-sized works of art’ are undergoing something of a resurgence worldwide. In Hong Kong, with its rich printing history, youngsters have discovered a whole other avenue of expression

A zine by Yiyu Lam depicting the Occupy Central protests as he saw them unfold on television in Britain. Picture: Manami Okazaki

A zine by Yiyu Lam depicting the Occupy Central protests as he saw them unfold on television in Britain. Picture: Manami Okazaki

To the untrained eye, “zines” don’t look like much: pamphlets stapled crudely together, featuring disparate topics and a range of art forms, such as cartoons, illustrations and photography. To collectors, they are pocket-sized works of art, and tools of self-expression.

Zines have been experiencing a resurgence in popularity. Museums, universities and institutions across the United States are championing them, and if any proof of their current popularity were needed, the fact that American rapper Kanye West has produced one – 64 pages of vintage-style photography – should suffice.

Hong Kong, too, with its restive youth, is proving fertile ground. Continue reading

Afternoon with Huang Wenhai and Zeng Jinyan

The Exilic Gaze and the Activist Lens:
An Afternoon with Documentary Filmmakers Huang Wenhai and Zeng Jinyan

Saturday, December 2, 2017, 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Michelson Theater, Department of Cinema Studies, NYU
721 Broadway, 6th Floor

Huang Wenhai and Zeng Jinyan are two important members of the Chinese independent documentary community that emerged in Beijing in the 1990s. The community has since flourished and transformed into a complex cluster of groups with diverse social, political, and aesthetic aspirations, as well as wider regional dispersal. Currently based in Hong Kong, veteran independent director Huang Wenhai (Dream Walking 2005, We 2008) and human rights activist, feminist scholar, blogger and filmmaker Zeng Jinyan(Prisoners in Freedom City, 2007), joined hands in making We the Workers (2017). The epic-scale film documents migrant workers of two generations in Southern China who have tried to organize themselves to protest against the unfair compensation and sub-human workingconditions that have been part of the price tag of the economic miracle in China.

2:00 pm -5:00 pm We the Workers 凶年之畔, directed by Huang Wenhai & produced by Zeng Jinyan, 2007, 173 min.

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Panel discussion with Huang Wenhai, Zeng Jinyan, Prof. Angela Zito (Center for Religion and Media, NYU) & Prof. Feng-Mei Heberer (Cinema Studies, NYU), moderated by Prof. Zhen Zhang (Cinema Studies, NYU).

Co-sponsored by the Center for Religion and Media, NYU.

Free and open to the public.