Yishu - Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art

Yishu Journal – the September/October 2014 Issue Now Available

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Editor’s Note

Yishu 64 explores the phenomenon of private museums in mainland China, propositions for new ways of thinking about exhibition-making, and two artists who were not born in China but who have worked within and around its contexts.

The museum system in China is distinct in that most art museums are privately initiated and owned. The discussion between collector Budi Tek and Wu Hung took place in the Fall of 2012, eighteen months before Tek’s Yuz Museum Shanghai opened, but it offers insights into the curatorial process of imagining the future exhibition space, how artworks will relate to each other, and what purpose the museum serves. This is followed by a discussion between Budi Tek and Qiu Jiahe that focuses more on the philosophical underpinnings of the Yuz Collection and the Yuz Foundation that has in consequence emerged. Julie Chun reports on another private museum in Shanghai, the Long Museum West Bund, that also opened in 2014. She acknowledges the worthy intentions of collectors to make their collection public, but is cautionary about the potential shortcomings of such ambitious projects. In the conversation between Zheng Shengtian and Yang Chao, Director of the Xi’an Art Museum, a candid overview of private museums in China makes transparent the undefined relationship between the developer, government, and the public.

Biljana Ciric’s Alternatives to Ritual and Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art and Spring Workshop’s collaboration, Moderation(s), are two exhibition projects that, in their exploration of inventive strategies that animate a program or space, challenge traditional museum exhibition practices. The artists in Ciric’s exhibition literally occupy the German Consular office space in Shanghai, and Heman Chong, the moderator for Moderation(s), introduces a multidisciplinary ethic that opens itself to the vulnerabilities of unanticipated flexibility.

The two concluding texts feature artists Paul Wong and Shezad Dawood who represent different generations and come from different regions of the world, but they share an interest in postcolonial identity and its complex relationships with popular and traditional cultures through the means of new media.

Keith Wallace

image (top): Shezad Dawood,Towards the Possible Film (production stills), 2014, HD and Super 16mm transferred to HD, 20 mins. Courtesy of the artist.

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