Yishu - Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art

Yishu Journal – the January/February 2014 Issue Now Available

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Editor’s Note

Yishu 60 opens with texts by recipients of the Fourth Yishu Awards for Critical Writing on Contemporary Chinese Art. This year Yishu invited Li Xianting and Martina Köppel-Yang, both established as scholars, critics, and curators within the field of contemporary Chinese Art, to each choose a writer they believe worthy of this recognition. Li Xianting selected Beijingbased Cui Cancan, and Martina Köppel-Yang selected Hong Kong-based Anthony Yung. Each of this year’s recipients has contributed a text to Yishu celebrating the idea of alternative artistic practices that challenge the mainstream art system. Cui Cancan calls for a revolution in art-making that resists submission to institutionalization, and Anthony Yung explores the intuitive and idiosyncratic performance work of Hu Xiangqian. Following and complementing these two texts is an account by Jesse Birch of artist Li Mu, who has carried out an ambitious project of re-creating works in the collection of the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, and recontexualizing them in his home village of Qiuzhuang.

Stephanie Bailey interviews Slavs and Tatars after the collective’s visit to Xinjiang, one of China’s most westernmost territories and the apparent birthplace of the Turkish language. This history is relatively unknown, even in Xinjiang itself, and the research by Slavs and Tatars emphasizes the historic fluidity of borders, language, and the relationship among cultures that line the trade routes between Turkey and China, a reminder that cultural exchange and hybridity have been taking place for centuries and are not recent developments resulting from contemporary globalization.

Painting’s expansive field is the focus of texts by Victor Wang and Voon Pow Bartlett, who discuss, respectively, the works of Zhang Enli and Li Songsong, both of whom had their first UK exhibitions in 2013. The authors explore the complex relationship between the physical process of painting and the ways meaning arises from it. Xu Bing’s recent outdoor installation, also installed in the UK, at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, is the subject of Patricia Eichnbaum Karetzky’s essay in which she examines how this work is consistent with the artist’s interest in translation, this time conveying the traditions of Chinese folkloric myths to western Europe.

Finally, the staff at Yishu thanks you, our readers, writers, subscribers, and donors, for your ongoing support, and we wish you the very best for the New Year, whichever one you may celebrate.

Keith Wallace

Image (top): Hu Xiangqian, Xiangqian Museum, 2010, performance at Taikang Space, Beijing. Courtesy of the artist.

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