Pursuing a Career in Chinese Art in the UK–cfp

Call for participation for “Pursuing a career in Chinese art in the UK”
An event co-organised by BPCS and MEAA
October 3rd 2017, 12:30-17:00 in Bath

This event is aimed at postgraduate students and early career academics interested in Chinese art, whether as a career or as a source for their research. As the sectors of Chinese art higher education and art market are evolving fast in the UK, this event invites participants to reflect on and prepare for a career related to the arts of China.

Event schedule:

1) Visit of the MEAA (Museum of East Asian Arts, Bath) in small groups: an occasion to network among each other. (Free for selected participants. For general public, included in the talks’ fees if booked in advance, entrance only valid on the same day.) Continue reading

Liu Xiaobo memorialised in social art

Source: BBC News (7/14/17)
Liu Xiaobo: The Chinese dissident memorialised in social art

Badiucao's latest cartoon commemorating Liu Xiaobo's death, called Final Freedom

Image copyright BADIUCAO Image captionArtist Badiucao’s cartoon commemorating Liu Xiaobo’s death, called Final Freedom

Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo was an inspiring figure for a new generation of Chinese pro-democracy activists and his death is being remembered by political artists.

Many activists saw him as a godfather for their cause, and have paid tribute to a man who was branded a criminal by Chinese authorities for his activism and jailed several times for “subversion”.

One source of inspiration was the well-documented love between Liu Xiaobo and his wife, Liu Xia, who has also been placed under house arrest.

This image of them, which was circulated recently by their activist friends, particularly resounded with many. Continue reading

biggest-selling artist at auction

Source: NYT (6/2/17)
The Biggest-Selling Artist at Auction Is a Name You May Not Know

Tate new media art histories in Asia doctoral funding


The Courtauld Institute of Art and Tate Research Centre: Asia invite applications for a fully funded AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnership Award, starting in September 2017 for a period of three years.

The award will enable the student to pursue doctoral research in Art History while gaining first-hand experience of work within a museum setting. The successful applicant will receive their degree from The Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London.The supervisors are: Dr Wenny Teo (The Courtauld Institute of Art) and Dr Sook-Kyung Lee (Tate Research Centre: Asia).

Application deadline: 17.00 GMT, 16 July 2017

Art out of polluted air

Source: National Geographic (5/19/17)
Three Quirky Projects Make Art Out Of China’s Polluted Air
Filthy air has inspired Chinese citizens to speak out—and in some cases, to create art.
By Beth Gardiner

Artist Liu Bolin wears a mask and vest with 24 mobile phones as he live broadcasts dirty air in Beijing. It was December 19, 2016—the fourth day after a red alert was issued for dangerous pollution.

BEIJING, CHINA: Dirty air is part of life in China, unavoidable and in your face. It has inspired a tremendous boom in renewable energy, as the Chinese government begins to try to wean the country off coal. It has also inspired a level of citizen action that is unusual in an autocratic country.

And some of those active citizens are artists. Continue reading

Treasures for the masses

Source: SCMP (5/7/17)
The Forbidden City’s treasures for the masses, at their finger tips
The Palace Museum wants not only to sell cultural heritage, but also merchandise inspired by the imperial past that Chinese consumers have a thirst for 
By Celine Ge

At China’s five century old Forbidden City in the heart of Beijing, 16 million visitors a year navigate through its numerous halls and pavilions with red walls and yellow-glazed roof tiles perched on white marble terraces.

Museum officials are hopeful that the visitors take away with them a grasp of the aesthetics of Chinese ancient architecture and the brilliance of the artisans, as well as be persuaded by the “soft power” of a country with 5,000 years of civilization. Continue reading

Li River’s iconicity in art

Source: China Daily (15/04/17)
Guilin’s art river: charting the source of China’s masterpiece
By Harvey Thomlinson

Guilin's art river: charting the source of China's masterpiece

The classic way to enjoy the scenes along the Lijiang River is to ride a tourist barge from Guilin to Yangshuo. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The Lijiang’s iconicity in art is a relatively recent invention.

From a source high in the Mao’er Mountain the Lijiang River sweeps south toward Guilin and into the world’s imagination. Millions each year take to its waters, weaving between poetic peaks and submerged islands in search of scenery that arguably epitomizes Chinese landscape beauty. The Lijiang River scenery was even selected as a suitably phantasmagoric location for the Star Wars films. Continue reading

China funds new garden in Washington

Source: Washington Post (4/27/17)
China wants a bold presence in Washington — so it’s building a $100 million garden
By Adrian Higgins

The Ge Garden in Yangzhou, which will be replicated in the National China Garden at the National Arboretum. (Courtesy of the National China Garden)

This summer, a construction team is expected to begin transforming a 12-acre field at the U.S. National Arboretum into one of the most ambitious Chinese gardens ever built in the West.

By the time Chinese artisans finish their work some 30 months later, visitors will encounter a garden containing all the elements of a classical Chinese landscape: enticing moongate entrances, swooping and soaring roof lines, grand pavilions with carved wooden screens and groves of golden bamboo. The grounds will boast two dozen handcrafted pavilions, temples and other ornate structures around a large central lake. Continue reading

Art for the people, by the people

Source: NYT (4/26/17)
China Embraces Art for the People, by the People

A work made of cardboard by the artist Ma Yongfeng at the Bernard Controls factory in Beijing. Workers there have long participated with artists in a project called Social Sensibility. Credit Gilles Sabrié for The New York Times

BEIJING — Above rows of assembly line workers, a mix of provocative slogans and abstract paintings adorns the corrugated metal walls of the Bernard Controls factory in southern Beijing.

In this unlikely setting, local artists and employees of the factory have spent the last six years producing artworks and performance pieces as part of a project managed by an Italian artist, Alessandro Rolandi. Called Social Sensibility, it is dedicated to injecting spontaneity and random exploration into the workplace.

“I have no artistic aspirations. I just like fresh things and to gain more knowledge,” Wu Shuqing, 37, a worker on the assembly line, said about her participation. Despite having no previous film experience, she shot a 24-hour, black-and-white film called “Sensual Love of the Fingertips,” depicting her hands performing dexterous, repetitive tasks. Continue reading

Cartoonist Rebel Pepper

Source: Index on Censorship (3/21/17)
#IndexAwards 2017: Chinese cartoonist Rebel Pepper refuses to put down his pen
Despite the persecution he faces for his work, Rebel Pepper continues to satirise the Chinese state from a life in exile in Japan

Wang Liming, better known under the pseudonym Rebel Pepper, is one of China’s most famous political cartoonists. He is best-known for his work satirising China’s president Xi Jinping, for which he has faced repeated persecution.

“Most of my political cartoon works expose the CCP’s crimes against the law, and the social problems and environmental crises that they have created,” Wang says. ”Comics are a simple and direct visual language, often more than the performance of an article, so the Communist authorities naturally hate my works very much.” Continue reading

Animators’ Roundtable

Animators’ Roundtable Forum: Chinese Animation and (Post)Socialism
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
April 27-28, 2017

Films produced in socialist China (1949-1976) have often been regarded as political propaganda without much artistic creativity. Contrary to this stereotype, however, it was during these decades of “suppression of literature and arts” that Chinese animation reached a zenith of artistic splendor. The state-owned Shanghai Animation Film Studio was the only animation studio that existed during the socialist era. Dynamic and creative, it produced hundreds of high quality animated films and marked a brilliant page in the history of animation not only in China but worldwide. Although the majority of these masterpieces were made by the Shanghai Animation Film Studio during the socialist years, the studio continued its productions in the post-socialist 1980s and witnessed another artistic peak, which we can argue was actually an extension of the socialist era. The Shanghai Animation Film Studio continued to keep its socialist collective mode of production, and its accomplished animators were mainly those who matured and thrived during the socialist era.

This roundtable forum will discuss animated filmmaking in (post)socialist China from the insider perspectives of these animators. Their narratives revisit their gorgeous animation classics, reveal hidden histories and names behind the scenes, and bring us back to that unique era in a collective and nostalgic search for a glorious and irreproducible time that was once lost to history, but will now be recovered through their animated stories. Continue reading

Ai Weiwei’s Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

Source: NYT (3/26/17)
Ai Weiwei’s Latest Artwork: Building Fences Throughout New York City

A rendering of one piece in Ai Weiwei’s multipart Public Art Fund project “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors.” Credit: Ai Weiwei Studio

Ai Weiwei, the provocative Chinese artist, will build more than 100 fences and installations around New York City this fall for “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors,” one of his most large-scale public art projects to date.

The exhibition, which opens on Oct. 12, was commissioned by the Public Art Fund to celebrate the organization’s 40th anniversary and will comprise about 10 major fence-themed installations and scores of smaller works spread across multiple boroughs, including Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn. Continue reading

Politics infuses art in HK

Source: NYT (3/30/17)
As Hong Kong Ponders Its Future Under Beijing, Politics Infuses Its Art

“Defense and Resistance,” on display at the Asia Society in Hong Kong, shows photographs of the artist, South Ho, walling and then unwalling himself in with bricks marked “Made in Xianggang,” the word for Hong Kong in Mandarin, spoken on the mainland. Credit: Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

HONG KONG — As 1,194 electors were casting ballots on Sunday for Hong Kong’s next leader, Sampson Wong was tagging Facebook videos that showed city residents making breakfast, riding trains and playing with cats.

The scenes were unremarkable, and that was the point: Mr. Wong and other members of the Add Oil Team, an artists’ collective, were broadcasting the videos of people engaged in activities that did not include voting as a critique of an unrepresentative political process. “No Election in Hong Kong Now,” the title of their Facebook Live stream said. Continue reading

Art Basel HK 2017

Source: NYT (3/22/17)
Art Basel Hong Kong: Where Commerce and Creativity Meet

A browser at last year’s Art Basel Hong Kong. Credit Courtesy of Art Basel

It’s hard to imagine a place more hard-wired for commerce than Hong Kong. The territory has a history steeped in trade, from its ceding to the British at the end of the First Opium War to its return to Chinese control in 1997 with a special economic and political status engineered to further economic development.

Buying and selling made the territory what it is. Continue reading

Theater, Art, and the CR talks

Theater, Art, and the Cultural Revolution: A Presentation featuring Zheng Shengtian and Chen Xiaomei
Wednesday, March 29, 6:30-8:00pm
China Institute
40 Rector Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10006

Tickets $5 each, please Register Here

Beginning in 1966, China’s Great Proletariat Cultural Revolution was a mass movement that shook the foundations of Modern China to its core. The movement’s ubiquitous presence disrupted all aspects of Chinese society, and has had a lasting impact on Chinese culture that continues until today. Continue reading