Yishu 77 has two distinct highlights. One is the announcement of and publishing of texts by recipients of the Yishu Awards for Critical Writing and Curating on Contemporary Chinese Art. With the generous financial support of Cc Foundation, Shanghai, and JNBY, China, we have expanded the awards to recognize five individuals (an increase from the initial two of past years) who are making important contributions to the evolution of contemporary Chinese art. The recipients for 2016 are Chen Tong as a senior critic or curator, Carol Yinghua Lu and Lu Mingjun for critical writing, and Bao Dong and Echo He for curating.
The other highlight in this issue is the emphasis on alternative or independent artistic and curatorial practices and exhibition spaces. This is not the first time we have explored these aspects of the Chinese art world, and Yishu is one of the few publications that is advancing this discourse within what increasingly is becoming a massive art industry.
In addition to the recipients of the Yishu Awards there are three texts that also explore alternative practices and spaces. They include Michele Chan’s review of Videotage and its 30th anniversary exhibition, Julie Chun’s in-depth examination of four alternative spaces currently active in Shanghai, and Lu Pei-Yi’s discussion of three artists in Taiwan who are engaging in a social exploration that consciously includes those outside of the art world.
Together, the texts in Yishu 77 explore the dynamic world of non-profit or artist-run spaces, various innovative studio and curatorial practices, alternative sites for exhibitions, and the often- misunderstood relationship between art and its publics. It is frequently assumed that there is an impasse between artistic independence and the art market, but the authors here propose there are added complexities within the cultural ecology.
Yishu thanks Cc Foundation, Shanghai, and JNBY, China for their support. We are pleased to include an interview with David Chau, President of Cc Foundation, who discusses the formation of his commitment to contemporary art.
Image (top): Chen Chieh-jen, Realm of Reverberation (detail), 2014, video installation. Courtesy of the artist.