July 12, 2006 - Nederlands fotomuseum - China Contemporary: Architecture, Art and Visual Culture
July 12, 2006

China Contemporary: Architecture, Art and Visual Culture

China Contemporary Architecture, Art and Visual Culture
Exhibition dates

Netherlands Architecture Institute > Sunday 3 Sept. 2006
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen > Sunday 13 Aug. 2006
Nederlands fotomuseum > Sunday 3 Sept. 2006

Websites

www.chinacontemporary.nl

www.nai.nl

www.boijmans.nl

www.nederlandsfotomuseum.nl

The Peoples Republic of China is undergoing a phenomenal transformation. In just a few years, the country has developed into the mecca of the market economy, a place where existing and new cities are mushrooming into modern metropolises at breakneck speed. But is this all just a glossy image? Three Rotterdam arts institutions have teamed up to show the work of contemporary artists, photographers, architects and designers from China from 10 June 2006 onward to have them answer this question with provocative, critical, ironic and beautiful work.
China Contemporary is a joint initiative of the Netherlands Architecture Institute, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and the Nederlands fotomuseum in Rotterdam. This first interdisciplinary overview of Chinas contemporary art, architecture and visual culture including television, photography, newspapers, magazines and blogs also provides a platform for a new critical voice from the Peoples Republic.
Exhibition dates
Netherlands Architecture Institute > Sunday 3 September 2006
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen > Sunday 13 August 2006
Nederlands fotomuseum > Sunday 3 September 2006
China Contemporary – Architecture, Art and Visual Culture
Architecture
China has become a Mecca for the market economy where existing and completely new cities have grown into modern metropolises at a startling pace. A group of young Chinese architects operates in the midst of these turbulent changes, a group that is seizing on the myriad possibilities and limitations in a critical and creative manner in its design practice. At the same time they are searching for pragmatic solutions for the discordant consequences of this large-scale and uncompromising urbanization process.

The exhibition presents in five different themes (Chineseness, Critical Urban Renewal, Urbanscape, Public Domain en Informal China) more than forty remarkable projects by eighteen talented young Chinese architects. They cherish the cultural tradition and attempt to improve the changeable urban landscape by using new concepts. The installations, models, computers animations, documentaries, photographs and films that are being exhibited here for the first time offer the public a penetrating insight.
Participating architects and offices:
Ai Weiwei (FAKE Design), Yung Ho Chang (Atelier Feichang Jianzhu), Chen Xudong (DAtrans), DeSHaus, Jingyu Liang (Approach Architecture Studio), Li Juchuan, Li Xiaodong Design Studio, Liu Jiakun (Jiakun Architect & Associates), Ma Qingyun (MADA s.p.a.m.), Zhu Xiaofeng (Scenic Architecture), Standardarchitecture, Tong Ming (TM Studio), Urbanus, Wang Hui en and Yang Yang (NENO 2529 Design Group), Wang Lu, Wang Shu (Amateur Architecture Studio), Zhang Lei (Atelier Zhanglei), Zhu Pei (Studio Peizhu). A stream of imagescreated by the Crystal Image rendering bureau and work by artists, designers and researchers such as Jiang Jun (Underline Office), MAP Office, Ou Ning, Wang Jun, Wang Yiyang and Xu Tan.
Art
In the space of a few decades, China has grown into the worlds fourth biggest economy. Ultra-modern metropolises have sprung up out of nowhere and state slogans extol capitalism and consumerism.

In two presentations the New Urban Realities group exhibition and the Xu Zhen solo exhibition Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen shows how the latest generation of Chinese artists is reacting to these spectacular changes.
New Urban Realities: Concrete reality
Artists such as Yang Zhenzong, Wang Jiangwei, Yang Fudong and Xing Danwen scrutinize the idealized images of prosperity, status, love and power that are propagated via the mass media and give them a personal twist. The works of art by seventeen artists brought together in New Urban Realities provide a fascinating impression of the many faces of the Chinese Dream: series of photos of skyscrapers, snapshots of urban life, video installations that portray the individual searching for meaning in the concrete reality of the metropolis.
Solo exhibition: Xu Zhen
Xu Zhen (b. Shanghai, 1977) is one of the most controversial artists of his generation. He was instrumental in establishing the independent art centre Bizart in Shanghai and was an inspiring force for many young artists.
The exhibition shows the room-filling installation, 8848 1.86 which documents the artists brave venture to literally saw off the top of Mount Everest.
Participating artists:
Wang Jiangwei, Yang Zhenzhong, Hu Jieming, Xing Danwen, Yang Fudong, Chen Xiaoyun, Lu Chunsheng, Hu Yang, Miao Xiaochun, Zhu Jia, Song Tao, Yang Yong, Liang Yue, Chen Shaoxiong, Xiang Liqing, Zhou Xiaohu, Jiang Zhi and Xu Zhen.
Visual Culture
The mass media in China have grown as quick as lightning in recent years, and a thriving digital culture has evolved thanks to the Internet. The staggering economic growth has caused an explosion in information in which the visual image carried by media including television, photography, fashion, advertising, magazines, newspapers and blogs plays a lead role. How are the younger generations of Chinese people responding to the turbulent developments? And how do they relate to the Chinese visual tradition and to censorship?

The Nederlands fotomuseum presents a fascinating and sparkling snapshot of contemporary Chinese visual culture for the first time in the Netherlands and carries a new voice from the Peoples Republic.

The exhibition includes magazines such as City Pictorial and Urban China, publications and cultural project by Modern Media, work of the designers Ou Ning, JiJi, Wang Yiyang, Zhang Da, MEWE, Peng&Chen, websites, critical blogs, billboards and slogans.
Participating artists:
City Pictorial, Modern Media, Urban China, Toodou, Danwei, Ou Ning, Ji Ji, Wang Yiyang, Zhang Da, Peng&Chen, MEWE, Cao Fei, 8gg.

Publication
The exhibitions are accompanied by a full-colour catalogue produced by NAi Publishers. The volume is introduced by Garrie van Pinxteren, former China correspondent for the Dutch daily newspaper NRC Handelsblad, and includes essays by the curators of the exhibitions (ISBN 90-5662-500-4).
Locations
Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI)
Museumpark 25, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
Museumpark 18-20, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Nederlands fotomuseum
Witte de Withstraat 63, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Websites

www.chinacontemporary.nl

www.nai.nl

www.boijmans.nl

www.nederlandsfotomuseum.nl

Multi-day pass can be purchased for the three venues.

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