Yishu - Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art
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Invitation (2010)
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Hong Hao and Yan Lei

No. 6

Hong Hao and Yan Lei

Title: Invitation (2010)
Media: Printed on paper
Dimension: 295 x 205 mm
Edition Size: 300

Price: USD 600 plus shipping

Signed by the artist.

When the list was announced for the participants of the 1997 Documenta X, a prestigious international showcase of contemporary art hosted in Kassel, Germany, Chinese artists felt snubbed when not one artist from China was included. Shortly after news of their rejection, dozens of Chinese artists received a letter signed by Ielnay Oahgnoh inviting them to participate in a special ancillary show, “From the Other Shore--An exhibition of the Vanguard of Chinese Art”. It was soon revealed that the letter itself was in fact an elaborate hoax by the artists Hong Hao and Yan Lei who in fact fabricated the invitations, signed their own names backwards as the name of the elusive curator, mailed them to artists from Germany, and listed a public telephone number for unsuspecting recipients to contact. The two perpetrators were found themselves in extreme disfavor among their contemporaries, but their act of conceptual creativity has since passed into legend.

More than a decade later, an original signed “Invitation” is now available in a limited edition, exclusively produced for the support of Yishu Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art. Where Chinese artists once felt excluded from major international art exhibitions largely organized by Western curators, this open invitation is a document of how far contemporary Chinese art has come--anyone is invited. Each edition may be individually inscribed by the collector.