“Shifting Identities. Between Introspection and Discovery” presents the work of different generations of Chinese artists who work in the form of video or photography; they investigate the subtle boundary between the individual and the outside world, the private self and the public persona, and the landscape as a metonymy for the contemporary human condition. Far from being an exhaustive compendium of contemporary Chinese art, which would be a challenging yet anachronistic task in an increasingly fragmented, de-centralized reality, “Shifting Identities. Between Introspection and Discovery” analyzes different approaches to the idea of identity in the form of case studies. These case studies reflect on both the microcosm of the individual represented by his own inner world and the constantly transforming macrocosm. However, this reflection is different than in the past, becoming an expression of collective identity and those desires, impulses, and visions that serve as a link between individual and historical memory. “Shifting Identities” moves between reflections on the ego, a no longer monolithic yet still unfathomable entity, and views of a landscape that, whether urban or rural, acts as a metaphor for an identity shaped by events, inevitably changing and being changed.
About the curator:
Manuela Lietti is an independent Italian art critic and curator specializing in contemporary Asian art. In 2003, she graduated from the department of Oriental Languages and Civilizations at the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. In 2007, she obtained her master’s degree in Chinese History of Art and Art Criticism from the Academy of Art and Design of Tsinghua University in Beijing. Her recent projects have included the Chinese section of the 2010 International Biennale of Sculpture of Carrara, Italy; Chinese Diary, a solo exhibition of Omar Galliani’s work at the Italian Cultural Centre in Beijing and Tianjin, China and InnerScapes, a public art project conceived for the 2011 Asia-Pacific Weeks in Berlin and focusing on the work of Marike Schuurman. Since 2007 Lietti is the main coordinator of the activities of the Chinese Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. She is a correspondent for the art magazine Arte e Critica- Art and Criticism and regularly contributes to a number of other art publications. She lives and works in Beijing.
In cooperation with: 2011 International Biennale of Photography and Video of Alessandria; The Year of Chinese Culture in Italy; Piemonte Region; Italian Ministry of Culture.
Special thanks to: All the artists involved; Beijing Commune; The Pace Gallery, Beijing; Pékin Fine Arts, Beijing; Zhang Li.