» Archive for 29 October 2009
Wang Wei manipulates spaces, most often building spaces in spaces. In “Historic Residence” he recreates the lavish bathrooms of cottage that was built for the Chairman and his wife Jiang Qing in the south of China. They are built into the gallery, tile floors and all; while the toilet, bathtub etc, are built to proper proportion, the space itself has been blown up to exaggerated proportions.
The cavernous spaces say something about the cult of personality, the fact that Mao himself only stayed there for a total of 10 days, while it was always kept pristine lends it a sacred air.
Highly recommended, in the new Space Station, now occupying the former space of the China Contemporary gallery in 798.
Until Nov 14
Today is the third day of the “Negotiating Differences” conference in Beijing, and the atmosphere is sparkling. Overall more productive than the May conference “China Contemporary Art Forum” that called together scholars such as Hans Belting and Hal Foster, the conference is progressing with productive debate. This second day of presentations looks promising, Sinopop will post more later, including selected papers.Negotiating Difference. Contemporary Chinese Art in the Global ContextVenue: Haus der Kulturen der Welt, TheatersaalAddress: John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10, 10557 Berlin, GermanyDate: 22 to 24 October 2009Organiser: East Asian Art History, Freie Universität Berlin“Negotiating Difference. Chinese Contemporary Art in the Global Context” is hosted by:Freie Universität BerlinDepartment of History and Cultural StudiesInstitute of Art HistoryEast Asian Art History (more…)
The “Green” art fair recently ended in China’s World Trade Center. Young artists sent their works directly to the fair, applying through an online form, and buyers, gallerists came to root through the weeds, in hopes of finding young sprouts to cultivate. Each artist was only allowed to display one work, and there were some rather established artists present, such as Yang Fan, who sent a portion of the massive carpet she installed last spring, and even some artists under pseudonyms (one included in the photos below). In its first year, the fair’s website is as ‘green’ as the artists it promotes: only a portion of works are shown online, and the site often malfunctions. Despite that, some editor’s picks are below, click on image for detailed information.
Hopefully these pictures can let you experience China’s national day parade as it was enjoyed by hundreds of millions on the morning of October 1st (only the very loyal, and high ranking cadres and military folk actually made it to the bandstand that morning). The painting of Mao looking over the square has been replaced with a smiling, benevolent and satisfied looking comrade, “Old Hu” inspected the troops poking out of the sunroof in the same Hongqi from 1949, and after a very proud and spine-tingling display of “model” soldiers and firepower, the parade began. Perhaps the most elaborate display of socialist pagentry possible today, the parade cost billions of RMB, and (of course) made the DPRK’s birthday celebration look like a mere joke.
Below are some shots of thrilled, smiling crowds and saluting policemen and soldiers. Judging from the blue skies, and the nicely balanced crowds of citizens, we’re pretty sure these were “filler shots” filmed at the rehearsal that happened the previous week.
Aerial shots provided uplifting views of the poignant messages that were delivered via cards flipped by the masses seated in the square they read as following:
“loyalty to the party”/ “socialism is good” / “protect world peace”
The final image is an amazing recreation of the Fu Baoshi painting that hung in the Great Hall of the People. It was commissioned for the hall in 1959 and for decades it provided a most dramatic background for diplomatic missions.