Yishu - Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art

Yishu Journal – the May/June 2014 Issue Now Available

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Editor’s Note

The previous issue of Yishu was devoted to the history of exhibitions of Asian art during the past two decades, both within and outside of Asia. The texts consisted of papers delivered at Asia Art Archive’s conference Sites of Construction: Exhibitions and the Making of Recent Art History in Asia, and were accompanied by introductions, keynote lectures, and polemical positions.

Yishu 62 continues this exploration into history and exhibitions. 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of an exhibition held in Paris in 1989. Hou Hanru offers a reflection on the significance of this exhibition, the era in which it was presented, and its lasting impact on the art world. Magiciens de la terre, among the first exhibitions to challenge the highly Eurocentric perspective of contemporary art and embrace relatively unknown artists from several other regions of the globe, generated considerable controversy and continues to be a subject of discussion.

This is followed by the final component of Asia Art Archive’s Sites of Construction conference. This time, we examine exhibitions of contemporary Chinese art that took place in 1993, a year that was symbolic in that many Chinese artists were introduced into the international arena. This extensive discussion reveals just how much has changed in the process of organizing exhibitions, the anxieties of working with unknown artistic expectations, and how recently the dissemination of contemporary Chinese art actually began. In 1993, limited knowledge existed even in Hong Kong about the artwork produced in mainland China. The conference speakers—Julia F. Andrews, Chang Tsong-zung, Francesca Dal Lago, Kong Chang’an, Andreas Schmid, Wang Youshen, and Anthony Yung—mix well-researched inquiries with first-hand personal accounts from individuals directly involved in putting these exhibitions together.

Yishu 62 concludes with a conversation between Zheng Shengtian and Chang Tsong-zung, founder and director of Hanart TZ Gallery, one of Hong Kong’s earliest contemporary art galleries, which, in 2013, celebrated thirty years of exhibiting Chinese art. Chang Tsong-zung relates his own story as a curator as well as that of the contemporary art market in Hong Kong, which shifted from one that was relatively modest and evolving into one of its major players internationally.

Yishu will be participating in Asia Art Archive’s Open Platform at Art Basel Hong Kong on May 15, 12:00 to 1:30 pm. We will be presenting the Fourth Yishu Awards for Critical Writing on Contemporary Chinese Art followed by a discussion titled Mainstreaming the Alternative? Please come and join us at the AAA Booth just outside the main exhibition hall.

Keith Wallace

image (top): Huang Yongping, Reptiles, 1989, installation at Magiciens de la terre. Courtesy of the artist.

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