Where Art Thou Going “Young Chinese Art”?
The first Post-Mao pop generation of contemporary Chinese artist either cultivated a distinctly Chinese subversive art practice or measured itself against Western standards of monumentality or iconography by way of redefinition. From a Western point of view,the latest generation of Chinese artists is more adapted One may lament this but it seems to be the way history unfolds.
Young Chinese art has become more aesthetic,that is to say the formal has become more important. As a result,every outcry and subversion is greeted with enthusiasm. Xu Zhen-this year’s winner and creator of the ingenious piece “Rainbow”-represents one of the few artists who continues to ruthlessly experiment,against himself and others. He also has the courage to provoke and to challenge common behavior. Gu Dexin surprises with his flow of inspiration and the multi-medial diversity. Compared to Xu Zhen Gu is more metaphorical and more interested in capturing erotic impulses than the corporeal.
Who has not dreamt of imparting humanity with a guilty conscious by way of suicide,to thrust the solitary decision upon the masses and to remain unforgotten? Song Tao suggests this in his dream about hanging himself in rackety crowds. The crossing of a floor cluttered with photographs,however,qualifies this dream as wishful thinking. Li Songsong proceeds intelligently,both ichnographically and in painterly wreck turns into a “gift,” and warlike conflicts are entitled “Waiting,” “Landscape,” or “Wave” respectively-banalized explosives pictorially traumatized. Wang Xingwei has found his way out of his reflections on various degrees of thematic waggishness. Another painter, Wang Yin, is rather interested in scrutinizing the medium of painting and reinterpreting history as well as art history. This is probably what imparts the high acclaim in both Kassel and Venice. In Yang’s latest piece presented to the jury he too opted for a despite all the citations of humanity and nature from the corpus of traditional Chinese painting,the work strongly reminds of Alain Resnai’s “Année dernière à Marienbad.” Playing with objects, vehicles bordering on the absurd-that is the strength of Zhang Qing. At the same time he is concerned with defaulting perception by way of exaggeration.
Where art thou going “Young Chinese Art”? In any case the young scene is lively. Even if -as mentioned above- the textual punch of the nineties has made way for a more unencumbered art practice. (English Translation: Xenia Tetmajer von Przerwa)