Yishu - Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art

The March/April 2018 Issue Is Now Available

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

Editor’s Note

Yishu 85 opens with an essay by Susanna Ferrell and Britta Erickson on the early work of Yang Jiechang, one of contemporary Chinese art’s most important artists and among the first to exhibit outside of China. The multi-year series of nearly all-black paintings, titled 100 Layers of Ink, embodies a complex deliberation of the artist’s social, political, and spiritual life journey. Junjie Jiang writes about Xu Bing, who, since the 1980s also has made an instrumental contribution to contemporary Chinese art. Her essay focuses on Xu Bing’s major public art project Phoenix, in which she addresses the tension between his dependence as an artist upon both capital and the labour of those who fabricated his artwork, as well as the workers whose labour also drives China’s urban development.

This idea of social consciousness is extended in essays by Yu Hsiao Hwei on the 7th Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture, Shenzhen, and by Yuling Zhong on recent ethnographic practices within the art making process. Both of these texts address artists working directly with local communities; in the case of Shenzhen, in the ways that art can animate an older part of the city while attempting to maintain its social character and economic ecology, and in the case of ethnographic methodologies, how engagement with various communities generates forms of knowledge that expand the parameters of what might constitute a work of art.

Yishu has on a regular basis presented perspectives examining various urban and rural art scenes in China. Julie Chun explores some of the current galleries operating in Guangzhou and identifies what makes them so distinctive relative to other cities in China. Sophia Kidd updates us on Chengdu’s dynamic performance art scene through a review of the fifth iteration of the Up/ On International Live Art Festival. On a different note, Shih-yu Hsu reviews Spectrosynthesis, one of the first exhibitions in Asia to highlight art from the LGBTQ community, and considers the challenge of what it means to attempt to represent Asia within this context.

In conclusion, Yishu is honoured to announce the recipients of the Seventh Yishu Awards for Critical Writing on Contemporary Chinese Art. Recommender Kuiyi Shen has selected Mia Yu and Zhu Qinsheng has selected Wang Nanming. The awards will be presented on March 28 in Hong Kong. Yishu 86 (May/June 2018) will carry an extended profile of the recipients as well as publish a text by each of them.

Image (top):MVRDV, The Why Factory, 2017. Photo: Zhang Chao. © UABB (Shenzhen) Organizing Committee.

Keith Wallace

Long March Space
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