第91期 “未来的回归” ——研究中国当代艺术的可能性(2014)

第91期 “未来的回归”——研究中国当代艺术的可能性

学术主持:王春辰

主题艺术家:徐冰、苏新平、王璜生、姬子、刘力宁、周钦珊、裴丽、李军虎、董钧、王杨、田波

新作艺术家:洪耀、朱建忠、梅一、周泰宇、金国明

Issue No. 91(2014)

Theme: ” Return in the Future “- Study on the Possibilities of Contemporary Chinese Art

Academic Host: Wang Chunchen

A.T: Xu Bing, Su Xinping, Wang Huangsheng, Ji Zi, Liu Lining, Zhou Qinshan, Pei Li, Li Junhu, Dong Jun, Wang Yang, Tian Bo

A.N: Hong Yao, Zhu Jianzhong, Mei Yi, Zhou Taiyu, Jin Guoming

91J

“未来的回归”——研究中国当代艺术的可能性
王春辰

  1. 趋势

中国的当代艺术实践能否成为一种学术研究,不仅仅看有多少展览在做,更重要的是它在学术建制上有无成立、学术研究出版有无规划、学术机构有无人员开展研究。从这个角度看,以国际为例,以往是单个展览多,但多在画廊、文化中心等非美术馆空间展出为主,这些都是现象的呈现,还不是历史与学术的研究。只有当事物发展到足够的程度,也充分显现了它的内涵与丰富性之后,才会迎来全面的学术性研究。最近几年在国际上的情况是:2011年英国考陶德艺术学院(Courtauld)成立中国当代艺术研究生项目(2013年改称亚洲当代艺术);2012年英国泰特美术馆成立亚太艺术研究中心,将亚洲作为一个新的艺术发展区域来研究,其中的中国也是重点之一;2013年美国古根海姆美术馆设立中国艺术策展人;2013年纽约大都会博物馆举办了“水墨的艺术”展,2014年11月古根海姆美术馆将举办中国艺术家个展,多个国际的美术馆举办了或计划举办中国的当代艺术研究展,如德国在筹办2015年中国当代艺术在七个美术馆的联展,2015年比利时也在筹办中国当代艺术展。在出版上,2014年英国诺丁汉大学出版《中国当代艺术》学刊(Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art),这是世界上第一份以当代中国的艺术为学术研究的学刊,德国最大的学术出版社Springer也将出版“中国当代艺术系列丛书”,世界上多个大学美术史专业的学生以写作中国当代艺术为题的论文也越来越多等等。这些局面的形成与关注是与全球的整体艺术发展有关的,不独独是中国一国的现象,但对于中国的关注也还是有了些特殊的意味,毕竟中国是一个不一样的国家。国际上这种关注从20世纪的最后20年就开始了,各种语言的出版物不断出版,特别是研究性著作逐渐多了起来,但是这个领域依然是一个新的领域,需要耕耘的地方非常多。

其实,无论中外,对于研究中国历史与当代社会的严肃学者而言,他们更关注的是从泡沫化、媒体化的艺术市场之外来认真看待中国的当下艺术,希望的是从当代的全球格局与文化互动中去了解、认识一个不一样的国家的艺术故事,毕竟中国在今天的社会变化,是20世纪至21世纪之际的一个重要历史事件。发生于这段时间的艺术也成为被观察与研究的对象,它们为什么这样产生、有着怎样的文化与社会意义必然是研究的重心。但这是一个在进行中的历史与文化过程,一切都没有定论和结局,它们依然在迅速地发展着、变化着,也引起持续的讨论和提问。

以艺术而言,它并非仅仅是现场和现象。这是曾经发生在80年代以来的中国艺术故事,被今天的研究术语称之为“当代艺术”,但是这样一种称谓与国际语境中的“当代艺术”究竟有何相同与差异呢?如果不以当代艺术这样的西方艺术史术语来命名,又如何来梳理中国的艺术?它能否构成真正的美术史研究、能否为未来的历史留下什么,都是需要面对与讨论的。这里面纠葛最大的两个问题是,一、是否以西方美术史的叙事框架为参照来论述中国的现当代艺术发展?二、如何是中国的叙事方式?或传统的中国文化能否成为叙事框架?后者随着中国经济的发展和后殖民主义的影响,有越来越多的人倡导或认为需要建立中国方式。这是两个互为对话、互为矛盾的问题。其实,无论哪一种方法,只有一种是从中国历史与现实的现场出发的方法,这才是真实的方法。

但是在中国,这一方法又因前述两种问题而变得不能自明起来,使得认识中国的当代艺术必然是在各种暮霭中寻找方向,也必须是在与这两种问题与方法的对辩中再次确认自己的价值和道路。在最近的一些年里,对中国的当代艺术有诸多的批评,除了对过度商业化的批评外,另一种就是对独立的艺术语言或形式的批评,而后者是构成美术史的基石,也是构成学术研究的起点。这才是我们心系之的事情。在今天,随着“全球化”(又因为这样的一种现实而再产生矛盾的文化立场),又出现“全球美术史”这样的提法和讨论,就使得中国的当代艺术史研究与写作变得更加错综复杂,似乎失去了锚定的方向。

  1. 模式

伴随着近三十多年的中国艺术的发展,尽管已经有了不少的研究文献和出版物,在国际学术界也越来越多,但是相应的基础文献和整体的研究还是很缺乏,甚至在研究的对象与领域上严重失衡。主要的问题是能否从简单的观看作品走出来,跳出视觉决定论的局限,进入到历史与现实的现场中,以较长时段和敏感性为基础,研究中国当代艺术的为什么和可能性,而不是从一个单纯的视觉结果去判断、去硬性地套上外在的理论纱巾。这里面有几个方面是值得注意的。

第一个是,按照西方的经典现代主义美术史脉络是否也能写出一部对应的中国现代美术史。没有这样的现代主义美术史,又如何去写当代艺术的历史?这个提问必然涉及语言媒介在现代主义美术史中转换到当代的接续和新美学介入。如果没有这些对应性的脉络,当代艺术的确立从哪里开始?或者它们作为艺术的新命题要回应什么问题?这样,就转到第二个方面,即什么是中国的现代美术历史?它构成的主线和持续的焦点是什么?显然,它们与同期的西方现代主义美术有着不一样的任务和命题,甚至在某种意义上,是西方古典主义和传统主义美术在中国的重现和学习,在视觉上、在艺术的本体观念上与西方现代主义艺术产生了时代错位,显示了“落后的”视觉。这怎么看?怎么从艺术语言上去寻找独立的中国现代艺术?在中国的近现代,不是没有这样的现代主义艺术探索和诉求,但如果说构成了完整的链条和主旨,显然与历史不符;与历史主旨不符的个案,能否作为现代主义美术史的主要架构?不解决中国20世纪的艺术价值所在,就不能回到历史写作上,就会忽略或遮蔽掉很多生存在这片土地上的真实的艺术行动和实践。

一部中国近代到当代的美术史是不是完整的美术史,在20世纪到21世纪这个时段是首先要解决真实性写作的问题,是写作中国艺术家顽强努力证明自我价值的美术史,还不是一部形式主义建构与纯粹美学追求的美术史。否则,这是历史被分裂、真实被遮蔽、艺术家被消解掉的历史。当美学姿态的前卫艺术在西方登场,我们可以充分理解这种艺术的政治性;当形式主义与政治性同构的时候,美学的政治才可能成为现代主义历史的一条脉络;当中国的现代民主之路成为价值诉求时,一定有一条艺术同构之路。可以说,中国现在还没有一条自明言说的现代艺术史,不同媒介的类型写作有倒是有,但艺术的真实、人性的真实都有不明的地方。即便有若干种现代美术史出版,受到诸多意识形态影响与介入的地方还不在少数。一部表明中国现代精神的艺术史才是一部真正意义上的中国现代艺术史。我们要期盼的应该是这样的美术史。

中国在今天是为了自身的存在和意义来写作自己的美术史,它的模式只能来自它的社会特殊性和历史复杂性。这样的美术史既是确立100余年来的真实的路,也是建构未来的美术史并昭示真正的现代精神,它以这个时代新的精神力量证明着艺术的价值和意义。如果不从这个角度记录、分析中国发生的艺术故事及其结果,是无法抓住这些故事的真正含义,那么,就会用一句模仿别人的批评来打发掉中国的现当代艺术,或者用狭隘的观点大肆曲解那些真正有骨气、有人性、有想法、有实验的艺术。这是一个人性还原与再造的时代,如果对失掉的人性文脉没有体会、深究、反省,哪里能深入到中国在现代社会以来那种种的历史悲戚呢?对中国现代社会的历史沉重没有透到心骨的理解,所写出来的文字怎么能传之久远?

  1. 价值

应该说,中国曾经几个时期的艺术家是在不断学习与成长,也并不是一无所有,物质贫乏激发了人们的创造激情和欲望,社会政治的紧张促使艺术家向内省的艺术发展,并一再激发起那些有心气的艺术家的生命感觉和艺术感觉。他们学习借用各种媒介的欲望超过任何时候,这是他们对自己的传统有过深刻反思后的开放,他们不拒绝任何可以表达自我思想与情感的媒介和方法。他们要表达的内容可以说涵盖了所有的现实和所有的文化议题,从年长的一辈艺术家到年轻的一代艺术家,对于现实和历史文化,他们都有发自生活与生命的体验,尽管这种体验的强度不同、表现不同,但内在地都熔铸了中国艺术家在中国现场的生命体验,它们外化为哲学的探索、文化的反思、现实的记录、对未来的想象、对可能性的辩论,对一种历史的宏大场景的期盼,自然,挫折感也是时时烧灼着人。

中国的当代艺术经过三十多年的发展,几经曲折、历经磨难,从小规模、一部分人发展到今天普遍的一种艺术态度和认识,积极以“当代艺术”为创作目标的艺术家群体越来越多,特别在青年一代的艺术家中“当代艺术”几乎成了标志。但通过对2008年之后的中国当代艺术的观察,一切唱衰这种艺术现状的声音都可能与未来的趋向背道而驰。那么,我们质疑历史的进程的理由在哪里?压在人们潜意识里的那些沉疴旧疾难道不要被反省吗?80年代是一个反省的时代,所以那个时候的艺术的纯真是历历在目的,追求真实的那种力量和信念是感人的;当90年代历史走进市场的洪流后,真实的艺术的落脚点应该在哪里?如果不在更大的观念精神上深入,所谓的艺术很难不堕入炫技的层面上。今天的艺术的驳杂超过以往任何时候,但只有最具个人性、时代性和创造性的艺术才可以凸显在研究的视野内。

从上述的全球美术史趋势、美术史模式到一种价值观,我们是不是应该这样来思考:今天的中国美术史无论从哪个角度讲,都是与全球美术史发展开始同步的一种美术史,有着相同的美术课题和针对性;如果过去的中国美术史有自己的特殊性轨迹和艺术语言,那么今天的中国艺术家要解决的艺术问题以及艺术与生活的关系是与西方或世界具有共同性的,甚至西方的艺术史问题也已经是中国艺术家要回应的问题,如果这样来观察和接受,那么,我们才能识别并且发现中国的新一代艺术家已经把自己的艺术观念和手法融进全球的艺术语言和艺术观念里了,这已经是事实,而且是越来越明确的事实。只是我们一直不予接受,一直以过度的意识形态化认识来拒斥这种事实。历史的中国美术史肯定是纯粹的中国美术史,而今天的中国美术史则是既包容了原有形态与语言的美术史,也是接纳了世界艺术语言与历史的全面美术史(total art history)。就像历史上,佛教是外来的文化,但中国经过长达千年的学习、融合,最终完全将之融为中国自己的文化传统,同样,今天的西方艺术和非西方的其他艺术在中国的艺术学习与融合的历史洪流中,也终将是中国自己的艺术传统,所以,以完全的同步的文化视野来看待这一个多世纪来的中国学习外来艺术与改造自身传统艺术,是在再造中国的新的艺术历史。如现代主义艺术所回应的问题,中国的艺术家以前是视为外在的东西,而现在已经自然地成为艺术家运用的手段和面对的课题。如当代的很多艺术议题,已经不外在于中国艺术家的理解和运用,而且善加创造使用,诸多非艺术、非中国的指责并没有意识到它们的发展意义。

无论中国的学者,还是国际的学者,在认识与研究中国的现当代美术史上都不应该孤立地将中国分离开。问题可以具体化和现场化,但艺术的意识和课题是共性的,只是空间的差异,而不再是时间的差异。在艺术领域,很多时候,思想的敏锐性有丧失的危险,艺术市场化又几乎要凌驾于理论与批评的话语之上。在面对未来的一种开阔视域内,需要重提“解放的思想”,当代艺术在形态上已经成为思想解放的标志和对象。中国今天所需要的不仅仅是物质上的发展,更重要的迫切需要是思想的解放。

  1. 回归

中国的当代艺术未来是怎样的走向?它并不取决于学术研究,而是取决于实践中的中国艺术家有怎样的思考。这里列举的若干艺术家来自美国布罗德美术馆策划的一个中国当代艺术展,这些艺术家从一个侧面反映了几代中国艺术家的不懈努力和精神诉求,既有水墨为媒介进行的自然哲学思考,也有文化符号的思考,也有历史痕迹的当代异化;既有社会突变的奇异景象,也有现实的惆怅,既有现实的万象和无奈,也不乏对未来的幻想和愿景。现实的凛冽足以让中国艺术家体会到什么是历史的深刻、现实的疏离与坚硬,也细腻地去再现随时间流逝的瞬间思绪,即便不悲天悯人,也是扪心自问。

而学术研究则是这种思考的呈现,是历史的记录与分析,虽然批评性的理论研究也会作用于艺术实践,但真正决定这种实践的是这个时代下的社会的诸多情形,既有政治的影响和关联,也有文化观念的变化,我们只有通过反观这些实际中出现的中国艺术,才会看到一个变化了的中国。

 

  1. Trend

Whether contemporary Chinese artistic practice can become an academic research not only depends on how many exhibitions are being curated, but also on whether they can establish an academic system, whether they have any plan for publishing academic papers, and whether they have professionals focusing on researches in academic institutions. Internationally speaking, the larger number of individual exhibitions were usually held in spaces other than art museums previously, such as galleries and culture centers, so they only demonstrated some kind of phenomena, instead of historical or academic studies. Only when a subject matter develops to a certain degree, sufficient to demonstrate its richness and profoundness, the comprehensive academic researches on it will be initiated. In recent years, the British Courtauld Institute of Art carried out a Contemporary Chinese Art Graduate Program in 2011 (renamed as Contemporary Asian Art in 2013); the Tate Britain Art Museum established the Asia-Pacific Art Research Center in 2012, focusing Asia as a new art development area, including China–one of the focal points; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in America organized Chinese art curators in 2013; The Metropolitan Museum of Art held the “Ink and Wash Art Exhibition” in 2013; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum will hold solo exhibitions for Chinese artists in November 2014; and many international art museums have already or are planning to hold research exhibitions of contemporary Chinese art, including the group exhibitions of contemporary Chinese art to be held in Germany in 2015 and the contemporary Chinese art exhibition under preparation to be launched in Belgium in 2015. As for publications, the University of Nottingham published the Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art in 2014, which is the first professional journal specializing in academic research on contemporary Chinese art; Springer, the biggest academic publishing house in Germany will also publish the “Contemporary Chinese Art Series”; together with more and more art history majors from different universities all over the world focused on contemporary Chinese art in their dissertations. The situation and concern were arisen from the global art development, so they are not particular in China. However, the worldwide concern to China is somewhat special, since China is a country quite different from others. The worldwide concern was initiated from the last 20 years in the previous century, as publications in different languages came out one after another, especially research works. But still, this is a new field, which needs long term ploughing and weeding.

As a matter of fact, for the serious scholars focusing on Chinese history and contemporary society both at home and abroad, more attention were paid to look at current Chinese art from outside of the bubblized and mediumized art market, with the expectation to learn and understand the art history of a totally different country in the globalized contemporary context and cultural interactions. After all, the social changes today in China is an important historical event in the turn from the 20th century to the 21st century. Art in this period consequently became the subject matter of observation and research, with why it was born in this way and what cultural and social meanings it has certainly remain as the focus of research. This is a historical and cultural process under movement, so nothing can be concluded and finalized. Everything is rapidly developing and changing, of course is being discussed and questioned at the same moment.

As for art, it is not only a scene or phenomenon. The Chinese art history from 1980s is called as “contemporary art” in today’ s academic terms. But what is the similarity or difference between the “contemporary art” here and that in international context? How to systemize Chinese art if it is not named as “contemporary art?” And whether it can truly establish research on art history and whether it can leave something for future history are all what we need to face and discuss. The biggest issues behind it include: 1. Whether the narrative framework of western art history can be used as the reference for discussion on the development of modern and contemporary Chinese art? 2. What is Chinese way of narration? Or whether traditional Chinese culture can be used as the narrative framework? For the second question, more and more people called for or believed in a Chinese way as Chinese economy develops and the postcolonialism exerts influence. These two issues are communicating with and conflicting with each other. Actually, no matter which way is used, only the one basing on Chinese history and reality is the realistic method.

But in China, the method became unclarified due to the above-mentioned two issues, leading to contemporary Chinese art’ s stumbling for the correct direction in the endless mist and inevitable re-identification of its value and path through discussions over the two issues and methods. In recent years, there are many criticisms against contemporary Chinese art. Besides the over-commercialization, the criticisms focused on its independent artistic language or form, which is the foundation of art history and starting point of academic research. This is what we are concerning about. Today along with the “globalization” (The contradictory cultural position arisen from the reality recurred), the topic and discussion of “global art history” were initiated, which further complicated the research and narration of contemporary Chinese art history, and almost blurred its already-identified direction.

 

  1. Pattern

The nearly 30-year development of Chinese art has produced many research literature and publications, and even increasingly more in the international academic world. But, the corresponding fundamental literature and comprehensive researches are still insufficient, even imbalanced in terms of the research object and field. The key issue is whether we can go beyond the simple observation of works and the limitation of visual determinism, as well as enter into the historical and realistic context and study on those whys and possibilities of contemporary Chinese art in a long period of time with our sensitivity, instead of dogmatically judging and imposing a theoretic title on it on the basis of a pure visual observation. In this regard, several aspects should be paid attention:

Firstly, whether a modern Chinese art history can be produced in the way of classic modern western art history? Without the modern art history, how come the contemporary art history? Such a question inevitably involves in the transformation of language media in modernistic art history, its contemporary continuity and the intervention of new aesthetics. Without the corresponding causes and effects, where can the contemporary art be established? Secondly, what is modern Chinese art history? What is its main thread and unremitting focus? Obviously, its tasks and topics are totally different from those of modern western art history in the same period. In a sense, it is the western classical and traditional art reappeared in China, being followed by Chinese people. In vision and artistic idea, it seems as if “being left behind” by western modern art. How to look at it and how to seek for independent modern Chinese art in terms of art language? In modern and contemporary China, it is not without such kind of exploration and pursuit after modern art, but it is not historically true if we say it has formed a complete chain and idea; Can the individual case which does not meet the historical idea be considered as the main structure of modern art history? Without identifying the Chinese artistic value in the 20th century, we cannot come back to the narration of art history, since we will ignore or forget many artistic actions and practices which truly happened there.

A single Chinese art history from modern to contemporary times does not constitute a complete art history. For the period from the 20th to the 21st century, we need to solve the problem of authenticity in writing, in order to record the history of Chinese artists’ struggling to prove their self-worth, instead of the history of formalistic development and aesthetic pursuit. Otherwise, it will be an one-sided history without authenticity and artists. When the Avant-Garde art staged on the western theater in the disguise of aesthetics, we can fully understand its political nature; when the formalism became isomorphic with the political nature, aesthetic politics can become an outline of modern history; and when modern Chinese democracy became the value proposition, there should be the isomorphism of art. It is true that currently there is not a self-made modern art history. Although there are some writings on different medium, the authenticity of art and human nature are not sufficient. Even if different versions of modern art history have been or are being published, more than a few are influenced and intervened by many different ideologies. An art history which can demonstrate modern Chinese spirit can make a true modern Chinese art history. This is just our expectation.

Today China is composing the art history to prove her own existence and meaning. The pattern may be the hybrid of its special society and complicated history. It is to outline the true path of Chinese art in the recent 100 years, and to pave the way for future art history and demonstrate the true modern spirit. With the new spiritual strength in the new era, it proves the value and meaning of art. Not recording and analyzing Chinese art stories and endings from this perspective cannot grasp the true meaning of the stories, then with others’ criticism, modern and contemporary Chinese art can be easily concluded, and the truly backboned and humanistic art filled with ideas and experiments can be misinterpreted with the narrow-minded opinions. This is a time to restore and recreate human nature. Without comprehending, exploring and reflecting on the lost humanistic context, how can we deeply feel the historical sufferings in modern China? Without truly understanding the heavy history of modern Chinese society, how can the writings last to the future?

 

  1. Value

I would say that Chinese artists in those periods have been learning and developing always. They were not having nothing at all: The shortage of material perfectly inspired their passion and desire for creation; The tense social politics pushed them to introspect themselves, again and again triggered those vigorous artists’ feeling towards life and art. Their desires to learn and use different medium became stronger than anytime in the past. This was the openness achieved after profound contemplation on tradition, so they did not refuse any media and method which can be used to express their thinking and feeling. The contents they wanted to express covered almost all the real and cultural topics. No matter being senior artists or junior artists, everybody had their own life experience towards real and historical culture. Although being different in strength and expression, the experience was internally cast into Chinese artists’ life experience gained in art field. They externalized into exploration into philosophy, introspection on culture, record of reality, imagination of future, discussion over possibility and expectation to the grand historical scene. Certainly, the sense of frustration always tortured them.

Contemporary Chinese art experienced numerous ups and downs, blames and criticisms in the more than 30 years of development to today’ s widely accepted artistic attitude and understanding from known only to a small group of people. Now more and more artist groups actively aim at “contemporary art’ in creation, especially among younger generation artists, it has almost become an icon. With the observation on contemporary Chinese art after 2008, the voice damping down the contemporary art will go contrary to the future trend. Then what are the reasons for us to doubt about the historical process? Shouldn’ t we introspect the problems which have been hiding in people’ s subconsciousness? The 1980s was a time for introspection, so the purity of art at that time was visible, the strength and belief to pursue after authenticity were touching; But when the history was flushed to the market in 1990s, where the authentic art should take its root? If not going deep to bigger concept of spirit, the said art can hardly be reduced to a pure showoff of skills. Today, the diversity of art also became higher than anytime in the past, but only the most individualized, modern and creative art can stand out in the vision of research.

From the said trend of global art history, pattern of art history to a kind of value, shall we consider the issue in this way: Today’ s Chinese art history is the kind synchronizing with the development of global art history, no matter from which perspective. They have the same topics and targets; Although Chinese art history in the past has its own special path and art language, the artistic issues to be addressed by today’ s Chinese artists, and the relationship between life and art are just same as those in western world or the whole world. Even, the problems in western art history are already the problems which need to be solved by Chinese artists. If observing and accepting in this way, we can realize and find that the new generation artists in China have already harmonized their artistic concept and skills into the global art language and concept. This is not only the fact, but the gradually confirmed fact. It is us that did not readily accept, and refused to recognize the fact with the over-ideologicalized cognition. The Chinese art history in the past is purely art history of China, but today’ s Chinese art history is a total art history which not only include the original form and language, but also the world’ s art language and history. Just like in history, Buddhism came from foreign culture. But through thousands of years of learning and integration, it eventually became Chinese culture and tradition. Similarly, today’ s western art and non-western arts are being learned and harmonized into Chinese history, and will become a part of Chinese art tradition. Therefore, to study foreign art and update traditional Chinese art in the recent one century are to rewrite Chinese art history, from the perspective of completely synchronized culture. E.g. The questions answered by modernistic art were considered as something external by Chinese artists, but now they are means used and topics faced by Chinese artists; many contemporary artistic topics are no longer excluded from Chinese artists’ comprehension and utilization, but perfectly innovated and used by them. Many non-artistic and non-Chinese criticisms have not realized the significance of their development.

No matter being Chinese or international scholar, nobody should exclude China from understanding and studying on modern and contemporary Chinese art history. Issues can be specific to different situations, but artistic awareness and subject matters should be similar. Even if being different, it is different in space, not in time. For many times in the art field, there is the danger to lose the sensitivity in thinking. The marketization of art almost goes beyond the theory and criticisms. Taking an open vision in the face of future, the “liberal thinking” needs to be re-emphasized, since contemporary art in form has already become the symbol and object of liberal thinking. Today’ s China not only needs material development, but more importantly, the liberation of thinking.

  1. Return

What is the future direction of contemporary Chinese art? It cannot be determined by academic research, but by Chinese artists’ thinking in practice. The artists we mentioned here are from a contemporary Chinese art exhibition curated by Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum. The artists, from one side, represented a few generations of Chinese artists’ persistent struggle and spiritual pursuit, with their natural and philosophical thinking in ink and wash, cultural icons, and contemporary alienation of historical path; It includes the grand scenery in sudden social change, sentiment of reality, diversity and helplessness in front of reality, as well as imagination and vision for future. The cruel reality fully revealed the profound history, tough and desolate life, but they still carefully reproduced the transient thinking in the passing days. If not grieving over the miseries, they were questioning themselves in heart.

Academic research is just to consider and demonstrate the thinking, to record and analyze history. Although criticisms in theoretic research interacts with artistic practice, what truly directs the practice is the social situation in the era, including political impact and relevance, change in cultural concept. Only through reviewing Chinese art developed in those facts, we can see the changed China.

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