Yishu - Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art

Yishu Journal – the March/April 2014 Issue Now Available

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Editor’s Note

Yishu 61 is dedicated to the Asia Art Archive symposium Sites of Construction: Exhibitions and the Making of Recent Art History in Asia, which took place in Hong Kong from October 21 to 23, 2013. Asia Art Archive is one of the most important organizations for researching, preserving, archiving, and raising awareness about the history of contemporary art in Asia, and this particular symposium is of interest to Yishu for two reasons.

One, while “contemporary” is a central word within this journal’s title, we believe the historical can inform the contemporary, and, in reverse, the contemporary moment that we live in can inform how we understand the historical. Although a number of the exhibitions discussed in the symposium happened some years ago and now exist as documents, the writers who participated in this symposium are keeping those histories alive through revisiting and reevaluating them.

Two, Yishu encourages the consideration of contemporary Chinese art in relation to broader contexts; in this case, the vast ground that is Asia. Other examples of this include Yishu 52, which focused on artist initiatives across Asia, and Yishu 56, which accounted for the wide array of Asian biennials that have become established or are recently emerging. We believe that placing China within these contexts, and in all its iterations, serves to expand the idea of nation relative to that country’s neighbours, with which, historically, it has witnessed shifting relationships.

One component of the Sites of Construction symposium that is not represented in Yishu 61 is its exploration of important exhibitions of contemporary Chinese art that took place in 1993 in Hong Kong, Berlin, and Venice. In essence, those exhibitions symbolized the entry, with all its complexities, of contemporary Chinese art into the international art world. This discussion will be followed upon in Yishu 62.

I would like to thank Asia Art Archive for inviting Yishu to collaborate on providing a document of this important event, especially Claire Hsu, Hammad Nasar, Vivian Poon, and all the support staff. Many thanks also to the writers who participated in this symposium and who agreed to have Yishu publish their texts. It makes a significant contribution to the health of contemporary Asian art.

Keith Wallace

image (top): Florian Germann, Wendigo River/The Crystal Source/Kowloon, 2013, real-time activity (circa 4 hours) during From Dusk Till Dawn, former Kai Tak Airport, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Photo: © Alain Kantarjian. Courtesy of the artist and Burger Collection, Hong Kong.

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