Yishu - Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art

Yishu Journal’s 10th Anniversary Year – the September/October 2011 Issue Now Available

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Editor’s Note:

The first three texts in Yishu 46 address issues of history in mainland China. Hou Hanru has contributed a reflection on the contemporary moment and the exhilarating and devastating events, man-made or natural, that have affected the world during the past few months. He deliberates upon how art can make a relevant political statement within such compelling times. Gao Minglu champions a re-examination of the complexity of China’s contemporary art history, proposing a reconsideration of it in light of distinct social and political conditions rather than confining it to the customary comparison with the West. Shanghai is the city in mainland China that is perhaps the most attentive to its history, although the discussion among Defne Ayas, Xhingyu Chen, Biljana Ciric, and Zhao Chuan, three of whom have published books on various aspects of Shanghai art history, share a concern about the inconsistent ways in which this history is documented and then constructed.

We also present features on Xu Bing, Wang Qingsong, and Polit-Sheer-Form-Office, each of them well-established artists who tackle the social and the political—exploring the cross-cultural rather than the national, exposing social polarization, and participating in communal discourse rather than market preoccupations—in subtle yet provocative ways. In contrast are texts on two artists, Jin Shan and Yam Lau, representing a younger generation, who are perhaps less political, turning inward within an era of social uncertainty, taking an approach that is intimate and personal, and exploring ways that art and life co-mingle.

The final three texts are reviews of exhibitions in San Francisco, Shanghai, and New York that discuss the work of Zhou Tao, Liu Wei, and Zhang Dali, the last of which resonates with sentiments expressed by Hou Hanru and questions how the political can demand a genuine and meaningful presence in contemporary Chinese art.

In conclusion, Yishu is pleased to announce two new projects. One is our partnership with the Russian art magazine Iskusstvo on their special issue featuring contemporary Chinese art, which will be launched at the Moscow Biennale on September 25, 2010. The other is a Chinese-language edition of Yishu that will be published in September and will include a selection of articles published in the English-language version.

Keith Wallace

Image (top): PSFO, Polit–Sheer–Form 3, 2007, oil on canvas, 157 x 200 cm. Photo: Justin Jin. Courtesy of the artists and Shanghai Gallery of Art, Shanghai.

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