Yishu - Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art

Yishu Journal – the September/October 2013 Issue Now Available

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

Editor’s Note:

In its 55th edition, the Venice Biennale remains among the most important large-scale exhibitions in the world, and its reputation continues to grow as participating nations, coupled with collateral group exhibitions, increase in number. Yishu 58 has three texts pertaining to this prestigious event. Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker offers an overview of several of the exhibitions featuring Chinese artists—in 2013 there were more than ever before—and Alice Schmatzberger interviews Wang Chunchen, curator for the China Pavilion, who discusses the premise behind this year’s exhibition, as well as the role of Chinese artists internationally. Lu Pei-Yi excavates the histories of both the Taiwan and Hong Kong Pavilions and their struggle to establish a “national” identity without having official national status within the Biennale.

Nikita Yingqian Cai and Carol Yinghua Lu present another of their ongoing Curatorial Inquiries, with Carol proposing a text on curatorial practice for Nikita to debate. Curatorial Inquiries 13 challenges traditional notions of connoisseurship and critical thinking by using intuition, independence, and instinct to understand contemporary art. Yu Hsiao Hwei interviews Alexandra Munroe and Ted Lipman

about the generous support of ten million dollars provided by the Robert N. H. Ho Family Foundation towards an Asian art program at the Guggenheim Museum. The arm’s length funding given by the Ho Family Foundation sets a productive example that other museums around the world can learn from.

Wang Ruobing has contributed an intriguing text on two trips made to Bali, fifty years apart, by two different generations of Singaporean-Chinese artists. These trips, the second clearly referencing the first, are an exploration into Singaporean identity relative to the Chinese descent of many of its citizens as well as Singapore’s cultural positioning within the region. We close Yishu 58 with two reviews from Beijing. One, by Edward Sanderson, examines the ambitious exhibition ON I OFF, which showcased younger artists in an attempt to keep abreast of China’s burgeoning art scene. Sanderson points out how difficult it is to articulate the diverse art production that the show represents. The other, by Jonathan Goodman, looks at an exhibition of work by Feng Yan, an artist whose spare photographs eschew spectacle, are cloaked in the mystery of the everyday, and immersed in their own quiet beauty.

Keith Wallace

image (top): Lee Kit, ‘You (you).’, 2013, installation, 2013 Venice Biennale. Courtesy of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.

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