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2008 主编《’85美术运动》“The ’85 Movement” （上下卷）[Chinese]
高名潞的《’85美术运动》全面透视并呈现了中国当代艺术史上最令人激动、最富乌托邦色彩、最具青年造反气质，又最为广泛生发的 艺术运动。全书分两 卷：上卷“80年代的人文前卫”是高名潞与周彦、舒群、王小箭、王明贤、童滇等人所著《中国当代美术史：1985—1986》（上海人民，1991）的修 订版。下卷“历史资料汇编”则是高名潞将’85美术运动的原始资料按照时间和理念结构整理编辑而成的一部资料集。上下两卷逾千页，文字与图像交相辉映，浩 繁卷帙映衬出历史的重量。 高名潞是’85美术运动的积极参与者与理论旗手，他以“85”为美术新潮命名，意在呼应20世纪初的“五四”新文化运动。 因此，’85美术运动不仅仅是一次当代艺术运动，更是一次思想运动，文化运动。在高名潞看来，’85美术运动的成就不在造就出了哪几位大师，而在这个潮流 之发生发展的活生生的过程。
从编撰时间来看，上下两卷相隔近二十年。在亲历者的书写与历史家的回溯之间，一以贯之的是高名潞的理想主义情怀和平民意 识。理想主义赋予历史家以批判的视角，而平民意识则让历史家的眼光从“大师”转向“艺术平民”。高名潞强调新潮艺术的“群体”特性，而非代表性人物。所 以，在“历史资料汇编”中，才会保留那么多自今日视点看来无足轻重甚或转瞬即逝的艺术群体与艺术运动。然而，这便是历史的实况。“我们不以其泯灭而遗憾， 亦不以记录泯灭者而自愧自惭。”高名潞在80年代末写下的这番话，依然宣示着他二十年后的信念。 这套《’85美术运动》的出版，接踵于尤伦斯85新 潮艺术展和有关星星画会的“原点”展之后，其价值却超迈其上。艺术史家巫鸿评价说：这部著作丰富的原始资料将为未来的历史研究奠定根基。艺术家徐冰则认 为，这部书体现和倡导了一种我们逐渐失去的、真正的、作为中国知识分子的很完整的态度。
‘85美术运动 VOL 01
高名潞 初版序 高名潞
第五节 80年代的美术报刊 中国当代美术编年纪事：1977—1 989
‘85美术运动 VOL 02
The following is a complete list of Gao Minglu’s publications in English and Chinese, with synopsis (when available) and table of contents in both English and Chinese, to reveal Chinese language information, click 中文 to your right.
1991 主编《中国当代美术史》editor of “The History of Contemporary Chinese Art” [Chinese only]
1997《中国当代美术史（1985—1986）》“The History of Contemporary Chinese Art (1985-1986)” [Chinese only]
1. A short retrospective––concepts of art in a new era
2. Clues on a movement
3. Tides of rationality
4. The current of life
5. The ’85 New Wave beyond return
6. The choice of traditional or modern
7. Style and plurality
8. Modern art
高名潞作为1989年中国现代艺术大展的筹划人之一，对80年代现代艺术在中国的肇始及发展了熟于心。90年代，他一直在美国做 访问学者。回顾这本作者自85年至96年的文集，他的一些既定看法对于当今的前卫艺术仍然有着不可忽视的意义。他所提出的“理性绘画”在90年代已经终 结，而“论毛泽东的大众艺术模式”文中恰好点出了90年代风行的“政治波普”的内在渊源。
One: New, Old traditions: self-improvement and the collective Utopia
The history and future of Chinese painting (part one)
The background unfolds to Chinese modern art and its development
Discussing Mao Zedong’s Model for Public Art
Two: Post Cultural Revolution: The humanism of Aestheticism and Scars
Painting schools in recent oil painting development
The disillusionment of utopia
The end of a creative era
From Aestheticism to New Academicism
“Style” and “ultra-style”
Three: the Chinese avant-garde as a movement, not a school
Collective and Individual consciousness in contemporary painting
Comparison on three levels
The ’85 Movement
A discussion with Gao Minglu
The status and significance of New Wave art within the structure of Contemporary art in China
On Rational Painting
Avant-garde and humanities––Anti-Utopian Utopia in the ’85 Movement
From art criticism to critical art
The conflicts and challenges of an foreign culture battlefield
Moving towards postmodernism––a letter to Ren Jian
The Chinese cultural battlefield on native soil
Kitsch, Power, Complicity
Four: Avant-garde art and modern consciousness
New Yangwu and New “National Essence” (guocui)
Modern Consciousness and the ’85 Movement
Consciousness of the “cultural vanguard” and the ’85 Movement
Culture and Fine Art, on the margins of fine art and the cultural arts
The spatial function and forms of sculpture
When we are in dialogue, we need to broaden our hearts
All history is contemporary history: contemporary art history as general history
“Chinese Avant-Garde Art” published list of articles and titles
1998 “Inside Out: New Chinese Art” [English only]
Inside Out is the catalog for a groundbreaking exhibition organized by the Asia Society in New York, with venues also in San Francisco, Seattle, and Monterrey, Mexico. It discusses the first major presentation in the West of contemporary Chinese art and is the most important critique of the field to date. As they pursue their personal visions, Chinese artists tread between two extremes: embracing or rejecting their classical tradition. It is not easy for a Chinese artist to break away from such a rich treasury. For example, many works in the show deal with the written word–that most valued of China’s art forms, with its dual connotations of calligraphic beauty and obsessive ritualistic copying. Song Dong writes on a flat stone with water that quickly evaporates; Xu Bing invents witty, new, but meaningless characters. Understanding a work may require acquaintance with the classics: a suspended boat impaled with arrows harks back to a third-century general who sent straw-filled boats down-river to attract hostile fire, retrieved the boats, and collected his enemies’ arrows to use against them. There is an implicit anti-West message here. Other works, including installation, video, and performance art, have universal connotations that owe nothing to Chinese conventions. Contemporary Chinese art has been around for less than 20 years, but the freshness and variety of the work described in this book indicate that an original new force has joined the global art community. (John Stevenson via amazon.com)
Towards a Transnational Modernity: An overview of Inside Out (Gao Minglu)
Across Trans-Chinese Landscapes: Reflections on Contemporary Chinese Cultures (Leo Ou-Fan Lee)
The Post-Ideological Avant-Garde (Norman Bryson)
Ruins, Fragmentation and the Chinese Modern/Postmodern (Wu Hung)
Beyond The Middle Kingdom: An Insider’s View (Chang Tsong-Zung)
From Elite to Small Man: The Many Faces of a Transitional Avant-Garde in Mainland China (Gao Minglu)
Striving for a Cultural Identity in the Maze of Power Struggles: A Brief Introduction to the development of contemporary art in Taiwan (Victoria Y. Lu)
Found in Transit: Hong Kong Art in a Time of Change (David Clarke)
Strategies of Survival in the Third Space: A Conversation on the Situation of Chinese Artists overseas in the 1990s (Hou Hanru and Gao Minglu)
2001《世纪乌托邦：大陸前衛藝術》（台湾） “Century Utopia: Avant-garde Art on the Mainland” (Taiwan) [Chinese only]
2003《中国及多主义》”Chinese Maximalism” [Chinese only]中国的“抽象艺术”究竟发展如何？中国的艺术家们又是如何理解“抽象艺术”的呢？《中国极多主义》将“极多主义”作为中 国当代“抽象艺术”的一种基本方法论，并以此展开了对中国式的“抽象艺术”的审视分析。想要了解中国的“抽象艺术”，不妨翻开这本——《中国极多主义》。
《中国极多主义》从当代艺术的背景、中国传统的思维方式和与西方抽象艺术的差异等不同角度分析了这些中国“抽象艺术”的“极多主义”特点。作者从艺术家的 具体观念和作品出发，从作品本身与创作背景之间的语境关系的角度去剖析这一独特的艺术现象及其发生的“意义”。作者指出，中国“极多主义”艺术既不是一种 自我表现，也不是一种对外部世界的“抽象”再现，而是这些艺术家的艺术哲学和生活哲学的不可分的一部分。它是传统和当代经验的融合，是建树具有“中国性” 的艺术方法论的探索结晶。“极多主义”以其极端的“重复”、“过程”、“数量”等语言形式对当代文化艺术中至今仍然充斥着的庸俗语义学时尚进行了消解性的 批判。同时，“极多主义”艺术也启发我们去思考建立当代新的艺术本位意识和艺术家人格意识的重要性和迫切性。
“Chinese Maximalism” analyzes the characteristics of these “Chinese” “maximalists” through the different angles of contemporary background, Chinese traditional thought and its differences from Western abstract art. The author takes off from specific theories and works, and from the angles of the contextual relationship between the works themselves and their creative contexts, analyze this unique artistic phenomenon and its “significance.” The author points out, Chinese “Maximalist” art is not a personal expression, and neither is it an “abstract” representation of the exterior world, but is an inseparable part of these artists’ artistic philosophy and life philosophy. It is an exploration of the crystallization of an an artistic method that contributes to the fusion of the traditional and contemporary. Until today, “Chinese Maximalism” and extreme repetition, process, quantity and other linguistic forms filled with dismissive criticisms of a semantic fashion. At the same time, art inspired us to think about the establishment of a new contemporary art and the importance of and sense of urgency in artists’ personal awareness. (translation mine)
Chinese Maximalism: An Alternative “Metaphysical Art”
An Introduction: The Definition of Maximalism and its Artistic Context
Critiques on the Methodology of Chinese Maximalism
Conclusion: Maximalism is a Methodology to be Shared
The title alone of Barbara Pollack’s part exposé, part romp through the Chinese art world seems enough to identify the author’s New Yorker status. But she wears her outsider status like a badge, humbly poising herself to profile art world power players and make a broad outline of the yet infantile Chinese art infrastructure. As an American art critic covering contemporary art from China since the late 1990s, but who remains physically and metaphysically rooted in the Western hemisphere, her observations strive to be impartial and critical, as she wields her pen not on Chinese art objects per se, but the people and the institutions that beget them.
Her reporting skills, and relatively guanxi-free status among what can seem like a tiny, and steamy art world in China help her to collect and present enough information to capture the complexity and scratch the surface of this microcosm. She dives into personal impressions of Ai Weiwei with relish and bares her astonishment at dubious museum shows––all in-between Benson & Hedges and ladies’ nights out with one of her gatekeepers to the Chinese art world, the gallerist Meg Maggio.
The Wild, Wild East isn’t quite a Seven Days in the Art World for the Chinese contemporary art scene, but Pollock smartly plays her “foreign journalist” credentials to work her way to the highest echelons of Beijing and Shanghai’s art world power structure. While every “insider” will surely find points to dispute, they are equally sure to take away something new; newcomers or casual readers will find it a highly readable introduction, especially with regard to the art market.
Pollock well knows, the laowai status within China can be a double-edged sword, and many people have obviously worked on maintaining their “face,” never quite withholding information, but surely not “airing their dirty linens” before the foreign journalist. Although she doesn’t address this directly, Pollock’s self-awareness and sensitivity to her dilemma is reflected in divulging portrayals of her translator, Zhang Fang (also the wife of artist Wang Qingsong, whose intermittent commentary was valuable and entertaining).
Approaching this behemoth––the very complex, very foreign rising art world in the East––takes moxie, which this native New Yorker indubitably reflects in her first book. The Wild, Wild East wavers between dish and reportage, and is unquestionably the most ambitious attempt to date at a narrative account of the light-speed developments in Chinese world of contemporary art, in either English or Mandarin.
Perhaps artists like to think of themselves as harbingers of social change, at least think they like to imagine themselves on the vanguard of something. In China, they seem more like backseat drivers. However, the world’s fasting urbanizing nation is heaving forward in myriad expressions, and relentlessly posing challenges to the entire globe with a host of issues that will shape the next decade.Urban China is a magazine that has hovered on the fringes of the art world since it was founded four years, it examines various urban issues in themed monthly issues, featuring intellectuals, artists and social scientists writing on topics such as Chinese creativity, education, migration, or Chinatowns. URBAN CHINA: Work in Progress (Timezone8, 2009), is a new publication co-edited by magazine founder Jiang Jun and Brendan McGetrick that seems to reiterate the supremacy of the urban machine over the artist’s ego, as the book itself grew out of a series of questions that emerged from UC’s participation in Documenta 12 (2007). (more…)
Yin Jinan wrote “Knocking on the door alone” as a response to the urgings of many who thought that his position as chair of the Central Academy of Fine Art’s art history department and as a “close-up” observer, warranted a publication. The second book “Post-motherism” (will follow in separate review) is a compilation of years of art criticism published in his column in duzhe magazine 《读者》also entitled “knocking”, duzikoumen “独自叩门”. The implied meaning of this title is: when we look at art we are always seeking a personal interpretation, and our individual experiences inform our reading.
The essays range from 1988, in an essay on the joint exhibition of Lu Shengzhong and Xu Bing at the National Museum of Art, “新潮美术的转折点” (The turning point of the New Wave), to 1992 (in dialogue with Sui Jianguo). Yin’s connections with art are very influenced by his proximity to the art academy, and to many artists who were making important names, such as Liu Xiaodong and Yu Hong, Wang Guangyi, Huang Yongping, Sun Xinping and a host of other young painters whom he calls the “New Generation Painters.” These were the emerging generation of artists who were establishing a new POV, moving away from the collectivism of the 1970s and 1980s and depicting personal experiences. Yin’s style is clear and dry, funny at times but aggressively confident when critical.
The book also includes ample writing on Xu Bing, the outrageously well-attended first nude oil painting exhibition in early 1989, and writings on the China / Avantgarde exhibition in 1989, on Chinese modernism and more. Posted below is an essay from this book on “New Generation Artists”, it was translated for a forthcoming publication on Chinese contemporary art from the Museum of Modern Art. To read Chinese version, please switch languages on the upper right hand.
Scala, 384 pages, Feb 2009
Miriam Clifford, Cathy Giangrande and Antony White, all with backgrounds in art history and archeology, have reportedly spent four years combing through China’s hundreds of museums in a search for the most appealing. The result is this in-depth guide to China’s museums that opens up new territories for English-speaking audiences, presumably Western travelers, but for that special, more adventuresome set interested in witnessing China’s cultural growth from a multifaceted perspective. “China: Museums” includes major players, such as the Forbidden City, as well as Chinese equivalents of what could be called “Roadside museums.” Imagine the Squished Penny Museum of Washington DC, translate that into the Beijing Tap Water Museum for an idea of the scale of the many museums referenced here; but then again, our authors have carefully weeded through the deep waters of China’s bowuguan (“museum,” a term that could also be literally broken down to mean an “establishment of ample objects”) to bring us the very best, most socially relevant and worthy selection of China’s ancient memorials, monuments and culturally revealing sites. They prove that lurking behind the Chinglish placards of hundreds of museums across China, there is much to be learned.
With site culled through our authors’ trained, and scrutinizing eyes, “China Museums” is not only a portrait of a nation’s burgeoning museum culture, but a sketchy outline of the earnest efforts of China’s curators or enthusiasts, and a semblance of an infrastructure where we might have assumed there was none. Of course, many Western readers cannot help but judge on appearances when confronted with the widespread curatorial practices Xerox copies glued to walls, or shabby facades and dust-laden velvet curtains, even the sci-fi inspired architecture of modern China can be a turn off. (more…)
Some of us look forever, others never seek––perhaps they’re already found “ME.” New September 2008 publication
These artists included are among the most outstanding of their generation, they represent Mainland China’s up-and-coming talent in the visual arts. Although often called the “Post 70s” generation, the artists here are mostly born after 1975. The book is a compliment to the exhibition of the same name, curated by Fang Fang (art director of Star Gallery and 2006 exhibition “Naughty Kids”), but is meant to stand on its own, and become a resource tool for those interested in this younger generation of artists, a browsing book.
If you’re like everyone else I know, you’re thinking: What does the name mean?
After spending a summer on this book, researching these artists, writing texts, translating and pondering the very same question I can only say: It means what ever you want it to. Whatever looking for you might entail. May you find it within!
Artists: Ouyang Chun / Li Jikai / Wei Jia / Qin Qi / Huang Yuxing / Xiong Yu / Wen Ling / Wang Guangle / Liu Ding / Li Hui / Qiu Jiongjiong / Song Kun / Wang Yaqiang / Liang Yuanwei / Cao Fei / Wang Yifan / Li Chaoxiong / Chen Ke / Xu Maomao / Jia Aili / Gao Yu / Li Qing / Qiu Xin / Wen Chuan / Yan Cong / Ha Migua / Chen Fei / Jin Nv / unmask
Book design: Liu Zhizhi MEWE
Authors: Lee Ambrozy / Jing Xiaomeng / Gong Jian / Huang Shan / Helen Li / Pauline J Yao / Chang Chang
“Socialism is Great” is a coming-of-age tale to be sure, but also a good example of memoir writing from an exceptional person living through some extraordinary times. “Socialism is Great” tells of things great and small: a girl becoming a woman and China shedding its socialist shell. It opens doors on a frugal family and its persistence in life, and the gates of the state-owned factory class as it plods to extinction. Along the way are lovable and despicable characters, all drawn to–or repelled by–our heroine Lijia as she careens through her own mind, trying as she must to keep her ambitions and lust contained behind “the strangest pair [of glasses she] could find in town.”
“Socialism is Great” is a fast read, is passionate and hopeful. Happily, unlike many other memoirs from China it doesn’t end with an escape abroad. In this sense, it captures the spirit of the 80s, as the heroine’s forward momentum brings readers to new depths and acts of bravery, she brings to life a whole new side of China, all without wallowing in self-pity. As she matures, she comes into mature experiences that make this book inappropriate for young audiences, but which definitely left me surprised at the depth of emotion of factory workers and “simple” laborers all.
All in all, this is a new voice to enrich the canon of memoirs from China, it marks the advancement away from the reminiscing over the cultural revolution, and represents one among China’s newest generation of international, accomplished writers.
Book Talk: “Socialism Is Great!” by Zhang LijiaWed June 18, 19:30-21:00
Venue: CCC Learning Centre, Chinese Culture Club, Anjialou, No.29, Liangmaqiao Road, Chaoyang District.
Price: RMB 20 (symbolic charge for drinks and snack) (more…)
坏孩子天空介绍了新兴的中国艺人。不要把他们看成是行为不轨的，他们已经成为中国的创造力的源泉。处身于不断变化的中国艺术界的他们的想象力也是多样化 的，将主题以卡通风格在超大的画布上或者笔记本上的胡乱素描来展现。本书以大众访谈的方式展现了“70年代后期艺术新生”，“商品时代艺术”与西方对同话 题的理解是那么的相似。本书由刘治治主编，编辑方式带有戏弄的效果，呈现出小坏蛋的形象，保证每一本“坏孩子天空”都能成为别致的污迹模糊的原作。
Editors Uta GROSENICK and Caspar SCHUBBE
Available at Timezone 8, 420 RMB
Wherever art works are exchanging hands for millions of dollars, the publishing industry will follow––foolproof publishing logic. Thus China Art Book was born, and is the broadest survey of Chinese artists to date, including 80 attention-grabbing contemporary artists. Although introductions are brief, they are included in German, English, and Chinese… suggesting that this is not reading for merely potential collectors, but hobbyists, and perhaps artists themselves, in these ways it sets a standard in publishing on the field. The book is filled with colour images for each artist and soft bound, it was edited by acclaimed Art Now editor Uta Grosenick and her Beijing counterpart Carol Lu (Lu Yinghua), the team recruited local curators to vote on artists included and contribute to introductory texts––a democratic process¬ no doubt. Why, then, did the book inspire such a confrontational and suspicious crowd at its launch last month at its Beijing launch? Despite the many reasons, Uta hinted at a second edition . . .
originally published in Urbane, February 2008