Yishu - Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art

Yishu Journal – the November/December 2012 Issue Now Available

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Editor’s Note:

Yishu 53 presents a number of features that explore the work of artists who live in various parts of the world. Zhou Yan points to the difference between how Torontonian Edward Burtynsky depicts the phenomenon of Three Gorges Dam compared to the way Chinese artists portray it. Mathieu Borysevicz talks about Beijing artist Jiang Zhi’s unexpected entry into the genre of abstract art, but, as it turns out, his work is not so truly abstract. Gilles Guillot proposes that Taipei’s Shyu Ruey-Shiann’s recycling of everyday materials is an extension of his personal life and family history. Beijing artists the Gao Brothers’s remarkable sculpture that pits Jesus Christ against a small army of Maos is the subject of an in-depth conversation in London. Orianna Cacchione reviews New York-based Cai Guo-Qiang’s exhibition in Los Angeles, where he continues a long-standing engagement with the idea of communicating with extraterrestrials. Frank Vigneron argues for making a distinction in Hong Kong painting between artists who have come to be referred to as “Nice Painters” and those who might seem to be affiliated with them but are not.

While Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen represent the most vital centres for contemporary art in mainland China, Yang Wang offers an overview of the art scene in Xi’an, China’s ancient capital city, and the new opportunities for contemporary art that are establishing themselves as the city expands.

We conclude with three texts about alternatives. Julian Scarff responds to a critique of art institutions by Zhou Yan (not the same Zhou Yan who is represented in this current issue) that was published in Yishu 49 and examines some options that exist for artists in taking a critical stance within Chinese institutions. Edward Sanderson speaks with Zhang Wei and Hu Fang about discovering ways of working within a private gallery that fosters an experience of art that is more than mere consumerism, and Joni Low discusses Vancouver publisher Ho Tam’s 88BOOKS series in the context of artists’ books both within China and abroad.

Keith Wallace

image (top): Gao Brothers, The Execution of Christ, 2009, bronze, steel. Courtesy of the artists.

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