Yishu - Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art

Yishu Journal – the May 2010 Issue Now Available

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

Yishu 38 opens with three texts featuring women artists who represent different generations, who come from different backgrounds, and whose work differs stylistically. Yet each artist alludes in her work to issues of gender and the social restrictions faced by women, both historically and currently, within Chinese society. In an interesting complement to these texts, Zheng Shengtian writes on Qi Zhilong, a male artist, and the disconcerting play in his work between the aesthetic and social representation of women during the Cultural Revolution and in today’s popular culture.

We also present the second of two panel discussions (the previous published in Yishu 37) from the Guggenheim Museum’s Asian Art Council meetings in June of 2009. This panel focuses on a discussion about the evolution of modernity in the context of Asia. Geeta Kapur from India, Midori Matsui from Japan, and Xu Bing from mainland China propose thoughtful and timely perspectives on how modernity is inflected in their respective nations’ cultural production and how it adopts its own identities within each context. Related to this is a growing interest in examining the history of contemporary Chinese art, especially considering a history that represents just over thirty years of activity. The summary of the conference Negotiating Difference: Contemporary Chinese Art in the Global Context brings forward several important issues, among them the kinds of methodologies that are employed in the analysis of contemporary Chinese art from an academic perspective as well as the practical perspective of those actively working in the field, and the challenges and benefits of both. We conclude this issue of Yishu with the second part of Paul Gladston’s examination of contemporaneity and the specifics of its manifestation in the context of China. He offers a considered deliberation on the ideas of art historian and curator Gao Minglu’s analysis of the different trajectories that exist between an Eastern conception of modernism and a Western one.

Yishu will be hosting booths at the Hong Kong International Art Fair from May 27 to 30 and at Art 41 Basel from June 16 to 20. Please come and visit us.

Keith Wallace

photo (top): Cui Xiuwen, Existential Emptiness No. 2 (detail), 2009, photograph, 78 x 500 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

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