Naked Body comic collection

Source: SCMP (4/16/19)
Naked Body: the Chinese comic collection dedicated to nudity and defying censorship

  • When Chinese artist Yan Cong was told he could not print any nudity in his books, he produced an anthology filled with nude characters
  • Body hair, fetishes, Madonna, and a man’s head being eaten by shaving cream are all themes in the collection

By The Guardian

Naked Body is a Chinese comic collection of short stories all featuring nudity.

Naked Body is a Chinese comic collection of short stories all featuring nudity.

Back in the early 2010s, Beijing comic artist Yan Cong (a pseudonym that translates to “chimney”) was told by printers that they wouldn’t publish any of his books with nudity in them. Both irritated and inspired, he decided to respond to the censorship with an anthology in which all the main characters were nude.

Naked Body, published in Chinese in 2014, highlighted the humour, loopiness, horniness and astonishing breadth of the Chinese alternative comics scene. It is finally due to be published in English this year. Continue reading

Asia Pacific Perspectives 16.1

ANNOUNCING the “Fashioning Asian Identities” Issue of Asia Pacific Perspectives, Vol.16, No. 1 (2019)

The USF Center for Asia Pacific Studies announces the publication of the latest issue of its journal, Asia Pacific Perspectives. The 2019 “Fashioning Asian Identities” issue highlights dynamics and tensions around the intersections of personal expression, identity, and culture in the Asia Pacific region and beyond. John M. Skutlin explores the history of tattooing in Japan, its stigma, and how tattooees today manage their stigma. Johanna von Pezold addresses China’s rising influence in Africa through the lens of fashion exchange in Mozambique. Anne Peirson-Smith explores the increasingly popular phenomena of cosplay (costume-play), and Barbara Molony introduces us to Kyunghee Pyun and Aida Yuen Wong’s edited volume, Fashion, Identity, and Power in Modern Asia (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). The articles are viewable now free of charge via open access at the journal’s website or by clicking on the following link: Continue reading

Chinese Landscape Rethought

Source: China Daily (4/2/19)
US exhibition showcases Chinese landscape art
By Luo Wangshu

[Photo provided to]

An exhibition in the United States showcasing Chinese landscape art, or shanshui, is giving American viewers a taste of of traditional Chinese ink painting blended with contemporary experimental art.

The three-month exhibition, opened on Thursday and will be on view through June 9 at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in Connecticut. At the event, 11 contemporary Chinese artists, some based in New York and some in China, including Wu Yi, Gu Wenda, Xu Bing, Zhang Hongtu, Wang Mansheng, Zheng Lianjie, Cui Fei, Guo Zhen, Mao Xiaojian, Wang Ai, and Cai Dongdong, are showcaing their approaches to Chinese landscape art. Continue reading

HK battles Beijing as dreams for culture soar

Source: Taipei Times (4/3/19)
Hong Kong battles Beijing as dreams for culture soar

Hong Kong artist Kacey Wong plays the accordion inside a red mobile prison artwork called The Patriot, a performance art project protesting against the National Anthem Law, at his studio in Hong Kong.Wong’s work is a protest in a city struggling to square its vast cultural ambitions with an increasingly assertive Beijing. Photo: AFP

At a sunny Hong Kong art studio Kacey Wong gazes out through the bars of a cage, painted communist red — his work a protest in a city struggling to square its vast cultural ambitions with an increasingly assertive Beijing.

Better known for its high-end commercial galleries — and glamorous fairs like last month’s Art Basel — Hong Kong is striving to turn itself into a cultural heavyweight through a spate of new multimillion-dollar public art spaces.

But local artists warn Beijing’s growing influence is creating a climate of fear that is stifling creativity and threatens the nascent grassroots art scene Hong Kong says it wants to enrich. Continue reading

Contemporary Chinese Landscapes exhibition


New London – Chinese Landscape Rethought, a new group exhibition opening at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, presents a rethinking of Chinese landscape or shanshui (“mountain-water”) art through the convergence of traditional Chinese ink painting and contemporary experimental art. The exhibition will be on view March 29 through June 9, 2019. It was organized by guest curator, Dr. Yibing Huang, Associate Professor of Chinese and Curator of the Chu-Griffis Asian Art Collection at Connecticut College.

Eleven prominent contemporary Chinese artists, some based in New York and some in China, but all widely traveled and internationally exhibited, offer eclectic approaches to inheriting the rich Chinese landscape art tradition yet also disrupting its boundaries. The exhibited works vary in different styles and media including ink painting, oil painting, photography, installation, performance, and video art. In combination, the selected artists and artworks shed further light on a wide range of themes including landscape traditions in the East and West, reinvented language and abstracted nature, suppressed histories and voices, environmental crisis, dislocated cultural identities, and global contemporary art and politics.

The artists featured in Chinese Landscape Rethought are Cai Dongdong (蔡东东), Cui Fei (崔斐), Gu Wenda (谷文达), Guo Zhen (郭桢), Mao Xiaojian (毛晓剑), Wang Ai (王艾), Wang Mansheng (王满晟), Wu Yi (吴毅), Xu Bing (徐冰), Zhang Hongtu (张宏图), and Zheng Lianjie (郑连杰). Continue reading

120th anniversary of Lao She’s birth

Source: China Daily (3/7/19)
Influential writer’s work lives long in memory
By Chen Nan

People visit the Lao She Memorial Hall in Beijing. [Photo by Zou Hong/China Daily]

Range of activities mark 120th anniversary of Lao She’s birth.

“I am a nobody in literary and art circles. For decades, I have been conscientiously writing at my table. I am proud of my diligence. … I hope that the day I am buried, someone will put up an engraved monument, saying, ‘The nobody of literary and art circles, who has fulfilled his duty, sleeps here.'”

These words, from the writer Lao She, hang on a gray wall outside the Lao She Memorial Hall, a tranquil courtyard in Beijing. Continue reading

Wu Kangyang adds to China’s gender debate

Source: Sixth Tone (1/23/19)
Artist Brings ‘Haha-Then-Aha’ Moments to China’s Gender Debate
A Chengdu artist is hoping his witty works could have a real-world effect.
By Fan Yiying

Header image: A row of how-to books for men designed by Wu Kangyang to satirize women’s bookshelves at his exhibition in Chengdu, Sichuan province, Oct. 24, 2018. Fan Yiying/Sixth Tone

SICHUAN, Southwest China — In most Chinese bookstores, there’s a section of bright pink books instructing women on how to be a good housewife or find a man before they hit 30.

But at an out-of-the-way underground art space some distance from provincial capital Chengdu’s city center, there are how-to books of a different kind. “Be a Man Who Never Cries,” instructs one. Other titles include: “Men, Don’t Lose Arguments Because You Don’t Know How to Fight” and “‘Bad Boys’ Go Everywhere; Good Boys Go to Heaven.” Continue reading

Lam Qua’s portraits of disfigured patients

Source: Atlas Obscura (12/18/18)
A Chinese Artist’s Humanizing 19th-Century Portraits of Disfigured Patients
Lam Qua’s paintings depicting people with huge, bulbous tumors remain mesmerizing.

Lam Qua, photographed by John Thomson in 1871.

Lam Qua, photographed by John Thomson in 1871. WELLCOME COLLECTION/CC BY 4.0861

In the basement of the medical library at Yale, there is a box of stones, yellow and ivory and strangely whorled. Nearby are more than 80 portraits of men and women in dark gowns. Their expressions are calm—reserved, even—and they regard the onlooker coolly, despite the pendulous tumors that hang from their arms, noses, and groins. These are relics of a time nearly 200 years ago, when a man intending to collect souls for God found himself instead saving lives for the Emperor of China.

Peter Parker was born in Massachusetts in an era when American trading ships went back and forth incessantly between Boston and Guangzhou, also known as Canton, swapping opium for tea, silks, and other Chinese goods. When Parker graduated from medical school and seminary at Yale in 1834, he felt a call to go to east. He would found an eye hospital in China, he decided, where modern medicine’s miracles would convince patients of Christianity’s power. They would literally see the light, and become Presbyterians. Continue reading

Graffiti artists to go on trial

Source: SCMP (12/13/18)
China’s ‘Banksy’ and associate go on trial for defacing city walls with graffiti
Pair charged with ‘provoking trouble’ after spray painting more than 10 walls in south China city. One defendant said he wanted his work to be seen by more people
By Alice Yan

Two graffiti artists went on trial last week for decorating the walls of a south China city. Photo:

Two graffiti artists went on trial in southern China last week charged with “provoking trouble” after an evening of spray painting walls failed to impress the local police.

The male defendants, neither of whom was named, appeared in court in Zhaoqing, Guangdong province on Friday in the first trial of its kind, Beijing Youth News reported on Thursday.

One was identified as a 20-year-old university student who was quoted as saying he had a passion for graffiti and wanted his work to be seen by more people. Continue reading

Young artist pays hospital bills with portraits of ailing father

Source: SCMP (11/29/18)
Young artist finds creative way to pay hospital bills with portraits of ailing father
Woman who is hoping to get into art school in northeast China sells sketches online giving intimate glimpse of her dad’s life in cancer ward
By Alice Yan

Wang Tianyue says her father, Wang Fei, taught at an art studio before he fell ill. Photo: Sina

A 21-year-old woman in northeast China has found a creative way to help pay for, and cope with, her father’s cancer treatment – selling moving portraits of his life in hospital.

Wang Tianyue, who is hoping to get into art school in Shenyang, Liaoning province where she lives, has spent much of her time at the hospital where her father is being treated since he was diagnosed with terminal bile duct cancer in March, news website Sina reported on Wednesday.

The devastating news came not long after her mother underwent surgery for uterus cancer in September last year, according to the report. Continue reading

Visual Arts, Representations and Interventions in Contemporary China

Visual Arts, Representations and Interventions in Contemporary China: Urbanized Interface
Edited by Minna Valjakka and Meiqin Wang

ToC + Introduction

This edited volume provides a multifaceted investigation of the dynamic interrelations between visual arts and urbanization in contemporary Mainland China with a focus on unseen representations and urban interventions brought about by the transformations of the urban space and the various problems associated with it. Through a wide range of illuminating case studies, the authors demonstrate how innovative artistic and creative practices initiated by various stakeholders not only raise critical awareness on socio-political issues of Chinese urbanization but also actively reshape the urban living spaces. The formation of new collaborations, agencies, aesthetics and cultural production sites facilitate diverse forms of cultural activism as they challenge the dominant ways of interpreting social changes and encourage civic participation in the production of alternative meanings in and of the city. Their significance lies in their potential to question current values and power structures as well as to foster new subjectivities for disparate individuals and social groups. Continue reading

CCVA 2019–cfp

Urban Transformations and Contemporary Art in China
Centre for Chinese Visual Arts, Birmingham City University, in collaboration with Tate Liverpool

Date: 11-12 November 2019
Venue: Auditorium, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool L3 4BB
Abstract Submission deadline: 1 February 2019

The Centre for Chinese Visual Arts (CCVA) at Birmingham City University aims to foster new understandings and perspectives of Chinese contemporary arts, design and visual culture through interdisciplinary practices and theoretical studies.

Marking the 20th anniversary of the Shanghai-Liverpool twinning cities in 2019, we are now convening the 12th CCVA Annual Conference in collaboration with Tate Liverpool. This two-day event invites researchers, curators, artists, designers and architects in the fields of art, design, visual culture and urban studies at all stages of their careers worldwide to reassess the significance of the urban transformations in China, and to reflect upon their impacts on everyday experience and artistic and curatorial practices in the globalised world. Continue reading

New publication on Chinese contemporary art

Dear List Members,

I would like to inform MCLC list members of my recent publication with MIT Press. Dissidence: The Rise of Chinese Contemporary Art in the West is a study of the Western reception of Chinese contemporary art since 1989. In this book, I propose that Western based art-world institutions recognize and valorize dissident gestures – artistic and political – as a means of distinguishing the singular originality of an artist, work, or genre. This book then explores how this valorization of dissidence has influenced the recognition and rise of Chinese contemporary art.

Taking an interdisciplinary approach combining sociology and art history, the book follows the careers of nine Chinese artists – Wang Du, Wang Keping, Huang Yong Ping, Yang Jiechang, Chen Zhen, Yan Pei-Ming, Shen Yuan, Ru Xiaofan, and Du Zhenjun – as they moved from China to France before, during, and after 1989.  Through an analysis of the artists’ production, exhibitions, relationships with art-world agents, curatorial essays, and art reviews, I demonstrate how Chinese art and artists after the Tiananmen Square incident were valued not only for their artistic dissidence (their formal innovations), but also for their perceived political dissidence – that is, how their work was and, in many cases continues to be, understood and recognized as a dissident resistance to the regulation of free expression in China.  The book concludes by considering how the valorization of Chinese contemporary art highlights the often-unrecognized relationship between contemporary art and liberal democracy, and how this relationship, in turn, makes supporting contemporary art a political dilemma for China.

All the best,

Marie Leduc, Ph.D. <>

Xi elbows Deng aside

Source: NYT
China’s Leader, Hogging Spotlight, Elbows Communist Titan Aside
阅读简体中文版 | 閱讀繁體中文版
By Steven Lee Meyers

In a painting touring museums across China, President Xi Jinping is front and center while a statue of Deng Xiaoping is a distant image.CreditCreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

SHENZHEN, China — Shortly after taking over as China’s leader, Xi Jinping made a pilgrimage to lay a wreath at a large bronze monument to one of his predecessors, the man credited with ushering in the country’s new era of capitalist prosperity 40 years ago, Deng Xiaoping.

Mr. Xi’s gesture here in the southern city of Shenzhen was hardly remarkable. Deng is second only to Mao in the pantheon of Communist China’s founding fathers, and his influence and popularity lingered long after his death in 1997. Every Chinese leader since has sought to position himself as heir to Deng’s legacy.

Mr. Xi, though, now appears to be taking a different approach. Continue reading

Feng Zikai exhibit

Source: China Daily (10/26/18)
National Art Museum commemorates painter Feng Zikai

A painting by Feng Zikai. Photo/

The National Art Museum of China recently opened an exhibition of Feng Zikai’s paintings to honor the 120th anniversary of his birth. Having achieved a unique style in painting, writing and translation, Feng is a prestigious literatus of the 20th century China.

Three collections of his works are on display. Feng’s unpretentious tone and strokes indicate his reflection about the social reality and also his friendship with Master Hong Yi, a Chinese Buddhism monk and an artist.

The exhibit runs through Nov 4.

If you go: 9 am to 5 pm (closed on Mondays). National Art Museum, 1 Wusi Avenue, Dongcheng district, Beijing. 010-6400-1476.