Yishu - Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art

Yishu Journal – the January/February 2013 Issue Now Available

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Editor’s Note:

Yishu 54 opens with texts by recipients of the Third Yishu Awards for Critical Writing on Contemporary Chinese Art. They are Lü Peng, recommended by Wu Hung, and Chou Yu-Ling recommended by Chia Chi Jason Wong. Lü Peng has been writing for many years and Chou Yu-Ling represents a younger generation, exemplifying that this award honours a range of writers who have made a strong contribution to the discussion of contemporary Chinese art. In his text, Lü Peng takes stock of contemporary Chinese art in the first years of the twenty-first century, while Chou Yu-Ling builds upon her in-depth study of the work of Taiwanese artist Chen Chieh-jen.

In addition to this study of the work of Chen Chieh-jen, we are presenting three other artist features. Amjad Majid looks at specific artworks by the lateChen Zhen to coax out their complex transcultural references. Patricia Eichenbaum Karetzky writes about Wang Qingsong’s frequent use of Buddhist motifs and his growing skepticism towards the rectitude of religion in contemporary society. Voon Pow Bartlett turns to a younger artist, Han Feng, to show how the aspects of emptiness and solitude that inhabit his painting and sculpture are in fact signs of hope.

Nikita Cai and Carol Lu, whose on-going platform, Curatorial Inquiries, introduces its twelfth installment and it will become a regular feature in upcoming issues of Yishu. In Yishu 54 they emphasize the lack of a systematic account of exhibition histories in China and abroad, and propose that our understanding of the contemporary should not be ahistorical but, instead, be based on its connection to such histories. Complementing the concern to keep history vital, Elizabeth Parke talks with Karen Smith about the fate of her extensive personal archive, which serves as a valuable document of contemporary Chinese art from the 1990s into the 2000s.

In conclusion, Stephanie Bailey reviews exhibitions of contemporary Chinese art presented in two diverse cultural contexts—Istanbul and London—and their attempts to illustrate the vast changes in China and its contemporary art during the past three decades. Ryan Holmberg reviews one of the first Chinese graphic novels to be published in English, a memoir by Li Kunwu, and checks in on a life lived through the Cultural Revolution as expressed in this popular genre of publishing.

Keith Wallace

image (top): Chen Zhen, Six Roots/Memory, 2000, fabric, iron, ink, 300 x 400 x 200 cm. Courtesy of Faurschou Foundation.

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