Yishu - Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art

Yishu Journal’s 10th Anniversary Year – the May/June 2011 Issue Now Available

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Editor’s Note:

With Yishu 44, we are entering our tenth year as one of the most important English language publications devoted to contemporary Chinese art. Over the past decade, we have published more than 500 essays, interviews, conference proceedings, and reviews that together track the evolution of artists, events, and issues that are central to China’s singular and complex contemporary art history. The staff at Yishu extends its thanks to all—artists, writers, subscribers, and sponsors—who have supported us and contributed to our success. Special thanks goes to Katy Hsiu-chih Chien, who has been unwavering in her belief in the importance of disseminating writing on Chinese art to all corners of the world.

Yishu 44 opens with a panel discussion on critical art writing that was part of the conference component of the First Yishu Awards for Critical Writing on Contemporary Chinese Art. This panel addresses art writing from a Chinese perspective and explores a number of crucial issues such as critical autonomy, the difficulty of translating Western terminology, and the lack of writing on contemporary art that is accessible to readers.

Beatrice Leanza offers a text about her own curatorial practice in which she explores ways to maintain independence from market forces and institutionalization, as well as foster a creative space for critique, issues not unrelated to the panel discussion on writing. Sophia Kidd takes us to southwest China and identifies the distinct qualities that make the performance art scene there, especially in Chengdu, so strong.

We have three texts on women artists—Cui Xiuwen, Wen Fang, and O Zhang—who endeavour to make their work more than just critical, and to actually have impact upon the ways we think and perceive by provocatively questioning the function of art each in her own way. Stephanie Bailey brings us four interviews with Hong Kong artists who have emerged from the alternative gallery system and who offer personal insights into the current Hong Kong art scene. We end with three texts discussing two

of Taiwan’s most significant artists, two texts examine the films of Chen Chieh-jen, and one text that explores Michael Lin’s recent survey in Prato, Italy.

As I write this, the arrest of artist Ai Weiwei on April 3 in Beijing has been met with shock and deep concern around the world. Our thoughts are with him, and we hope that before you read this issue of Yishu 44, he will have been exonerated and able to return to his multifaceted art making. There are numerous petitions in circulation demanding his release, and we encourage you to add your voice to them.

Keith Wallace

Image (top): O Zhang, Always Ready, 2008, C-type print, 119.38 x 149.86 cm. Courtesy of the artist and CRG Gallery, New York.

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