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20130107205735-20120123054557-354 2012 in Review: Art in China in the Year of the Dragon   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 1/7/13

Perusing the last year’s contributions to ArtSlant China some clear themes come across, and provide us with a snapshot of the art scenes in Beijing, Hong Kong, and elsewhere in China. We see the prevalence of artist communities, collectives and relational art; the rise of performance work; blockbuster sculpture and installation exhibitions; and changing patterns in curatorial strategies. Here’s a look back at some of the most thought-provoking reviews from ArtSlant writers Edward Sanderson and Robi... [more]

20121224120038-workshop_01 Strength in Numbers?   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art November 20th, 2012 - December 30th, 2012
Posted 12/24/12

SEE/SAW is billed as the prelude to the show ON/OFF, which will open at UCCA in January 2013. ON/OFF promises to be a rather exciting group show of young Chinese artists over the whole of UCCA’s spaces. SEE/SAW though occupies just a small part of this institution’s gallery spaces, to address the recent phenomenon of artist groups in China. While groupings of artists have always existed, not least in China, this way of working has become a very visible feature of artists’ practice here over the p... [more]

20121209143712-___group_photo_collage A Meeting of Meetings   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Elaine W. Ho, Rania Ho at Arrow Factory November 8th, 2012 - December 31st, 2012
Posted 12/9/12

The Meeting Room is a project hosted within Beijing’s Arrow Factory space, and organised by artists Rania Ho, one of the founders of that space, and Elaine W. Ho (no relation), founder of the HomeShop, a small creative community sited a few streets away. With this new project, the concerns of the two artists previously expressed through their work on their particular institutions, have come together to form a very interesting and socially productive use of the space – converting it into bookabl... [more]

20121115215543-yung-ho-chang_photogallery_06 [VIDEO] Yung Ho Chang at UCCA and Che Guevara at Three Shadows, Beijing   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Yung Ho Chang at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art September 30th, 2012 - December 2nd, 2012
Posted 11/15/12

In Beijing’s 798 Art Zone, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) presents ‘Yung Ho Chang + FCJZ: Material-ism’, the first retrospective of the pioneer of contemporary Chinese architecture. UCCA shows over 6 installations, 40 models and 270 drawings charting the cross-disciplinary work of Yung Ho Chang and his practice Feichang Jianzhu (FCJZ). Chang and FCJZ transform the UCCA Great Hall into six courtyard-like modules inspired by the ‘hutong’, the traditional Chinese neighbourhood network of narrow alleys... [more]

20121029203651-800 The Strangeness of Ritual   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Fang Lu at Arrow Factory September 8th, 2012 - October 24th, 2012
Posted 10/29/12

Peeking through the glazed and systematically inaccessible storefront of the Arrow Factory space (inaccessibility being a usual feature of this small non-profit space’s presentations), a scene reminiscent of a storage space or garage is visible. In amongst the detritus that litters the space—the construction tools, ladders, paint tins, sheets of wood, and bags of unidentifiable materials—a series of television monitors sit on chairs or boxes, and make up the deliberately make-shift presentation of artis... [more]

20121001103248-1 Be Floored   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Wang Wei at Magician Space September 13th, 2012 - October 31st, 2012
Posted 10/1/12

The two pieces by artist Wang Wei currently on show at Magician Space address two aspects of constructed space—the wall and the floor—in one succinct installation. As the title makes clear, the pieces are literally a wall and a floor, but their structure, placement, and relationship to each other, as well as their existence within the gallery space, mark them out as out of place. This suggests, and is backed up by the text for the exhibition, that these pieces are from other places, reproduced here by... [more]

20120917134016-liu_wei_2 Form is the Most Political?   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Liu Wei at Long March Space September 1st, 2012 - October 7th, 2012
Posted 9/17/12

Long March Space presents a strong body of new works by Liu Wei, which seem to progressively build upon and develop various aspects of this artist’s works. The results suggest monumentality in their occupation of space while retaining an uncertainty in their inability to be defined and interpreted. This opacity of the pieces is apparently mirrored by the reticence of the artist to elaborate on them too specifically. The viewer is offered little aside from some general statements made by Liu and... [more]

20120903065029-qiu_jingtong Food for Thought   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Li Bo, Qiu Jingtong, Dai Liang, Liang Shuo, Chen Xinpeng, Ma Yongfeng, Xiao Yu at PIFO New Art Gallery August 11th, 2012 - August 20th, 2012
Posted 9/3/12

Food Art Exhibition at PIFO New Art Gallery, organised by the international charity Oxfam as part of their global “GROW” campaign, aims to raise awareness of poverty in relation to production and access to food, but the art exhibition on show raises issues concerning the effectiveness of this form of presentation. Although art shows undertaken to promote charitable issues have worthy intentions that should in most cases be supported, there is a troublesome tendency for the art to be the least conside... [more]

20120823175110-__listening_party_at_spring_workshop__photo_courtesy_of_spring_workshop Collector's Catalogue 2012: Hong Kong Collector Culture   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 8/22/12

When Artinfo released the China-focused edition of an article featuring the most influential young players in the art world, the preponderance of Hong Kong-based figures, occupying twelve of thirty positions, was unexpected. Despite the meteoric growth of the art fair ArtHK as a pan-Asian platform, the success of international auction firms Christie’s and Sotheby’s in the city, and the evolution of the downtown financial district as a gallery hotspot, the Chinese art world largely continues to regard... [more]

20120820153300-__ Hong Kong Home Boy   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Tsang Kin-Wah at Pearl Lam Galleries Hong Kong July 27th, 2012 - August 27th, 2012
Posted 8/20/12

Tsang Kin-Wah may be one of the most internationally recognized Hong Kong artists, with recent major outings at the Mori Art Museum, the Lyon Biennale, and the Sydney Biennale, among others, but his presence in Hong Kong itself, for the last several years at least, has been ambivalent. He is known as something of a shadowy figure, often appearing quietly and anonymously, whose trademark installations are included only in the most unlikely and unexpected of exhibitions. Prior to this landmark exhibiti... [more]

20120724140739-liu_bin____cargo_plane_above_lashihai__mural_at_he_simei_s_house Mural Painting Project of the New Countryside Laboratory   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Posted 7/24/12

(Editor's Note: Art in the street can be found in every corner of human habitation: not only urban spaces, but even in the far reaches of rural China. Unlike most street art and graffiti this particular public art project was conducted not only with permission, but with the total cooperation of the community. In this local effort in China, perhaps we find something even more subversive--a collective vision realized in togetherness, in a simple, yet affirmative gesture of opposition against gove... [more]

20120723151459-chinahemuseshow Death for Show   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
guest at Hemuse Gallery July 17th, 2012 - August 4th, 2012
Posted 7/23/12

In some ways there’s really not a lot to say about this show. The elements of the show are seemingly simple, based around a short video loop showing a woman in a hospital bed speaking the words “Good Luck,” and the execution of the show is restrained, with just some medical notes, a contract and a wall text. The woman in the bed is in fact dying. For the exhibition the artists paid this woman’s family 2000RMB (US$314) to purchase her announcement of the phrase “Good Luck” (or, more literally, “... [more]

20120709170237-img_0481 Things Lost and Found   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Yang Jian at Where Where Art Space June 16th, 2012 - July 15th, 2012
Posted 7/9/12

In the exhibition text for Unclaimed Objects, artist Yang Jian recounts the story of a parasitic fungus which lives in the stomach of a cow, and spreads by passing out of the cow via its dung, which in turn infects ants in the vicinity. The fungus then implants an urge in the ants to present themselves to be eaten by the next cow, thus passing into the new cow’s system. This life-cycle is presented very specifically as a “story” by the artist and—while there are reports of such occurrences—this aspect of ficti... [more]

20120625193858-paintingofgreatthought The “Ah” (ha) Moment   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Zhao Yao at Beijing Commune June 12th, 2012 - August 12th, 2012
Posted 6/25/12

Last year’s solo show of the work of Zhao Yao, his first with Beijing Commune, left me with a less than positive feeling. To then have that (rather strong) feeling overturned by this new presentation of what is ostensibly the same work is surprising. The development of Zhao’s two solo shows with Beijing Commune are important starting points for an analysis of this change of heart. In 2011 Zhao’s first solo show, entitled I Am Your Night, collected together a set of works that I disliked for be... [more]

20120611121533-_ What, Then, Can Art Be?   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
at OCT Contemporary Art Terminal May 12th, 2012 - August 31st, 2012
Posted 6/11/12

Following their Little Movements exhibition in the same venue last year (which I reviewed on ArtSlant at the time), the curatorial group of Liu Ding, Carol Yinghua Lu and Su Wei return to Shenzhen’s OCT Contemporary Art Terminal to undertake the broader task of a biennale. Despite retaining the moniker of “Sculpture,” this seventh iteration of the Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale has less to do with sculpture as a distinct discipline, than with what amounts to a renewed opportunity for the curators t... [more]

20120528125035-img_0104 Eliasson's Essentials   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
Olafur Eliasson at The Pavilion May 10th, 2012 - June 10th, 2012
Posted 5/28/12

Reflecting Vitamin Creative Space’s approach to the artwork as a “daily activity,” the four pieces by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson currently installed in their Beijing space (The Pavilion) are not quite an exhibition – there was no formal opening and no general announcement made, and there is no official end date to the show. Such an arrangement is part of Vitamin’s way of leaving space for the public to discover the works in conditions that strengthen their place in the world rather t... [more]

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