We Chat: A Dialogue in Contemporary Chinese Art

We Chat: A Dialogue in Contemporary Chinese Art

Center for the Arts at Wesleyan University

Pixy Yijun Liao, The King Under Me, 2011. Digital c-print, 34 x 44 x 2 inches. Courtesy of the artist.
January 18, 2016
We Chat: A Dialogue in Contemporary Chinese Art

January 26–February 28, 2016

Opening: January 26, 4:30pm

Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts
Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, Main Gallery
Wesleyan University
283 Washington Terrace
Middletown, CT 06459
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday, 12–5pm


Exhibition of ten emerging artists from Beijing, Shanghai, and New York to include painting, installation, video art, photography, and an artist-designed video game.

We Chat: A Dialogue in Contemporary Chinese Art, one of the first exhibitions in the United States to look at a new generation of artists emerging in China, will be on view in the Main Gallery at Wesleyan University’s Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, located at 283 Washington Terrace on the Wesleyan campus in Middletown, Connecticut, from Tuesday, January 26 to Sunday, February 28. Gallery admission is free. This exhibition debuts at Wesleyan, and features works by Sun Xun, Jin Shan, Ma Qiusha, Lu Yang, Bo Wang, Pixy Liao, Liu Chuang, Shi Zhiying, Guo Xi, and Yan Xing. The exhibition is curated by Guest Curator Barbara Pollack.

The public is invited to attend the opening reception on Tuesday, January 26 at 4:30pm in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery. The snow date for the opening reception is Wednesday, January 27. The opening reception is free.

Each of the ten artists in this exhibition were born in China after 1976, growing up with both the “One Child Policy” and the “Open Door Policy,” experiencing far greater opportunities and access to information about contemporary art movements than their predecessors. Their artworks reflect a major shift in Chinese contemporary art away from identifiable icons and stereotypes of Chinese culture to more experimental approaches to the issue of Chinese identity.

The exhibition takes its name from WeChat, a Chinese messaging app with over 600 million users worldwide. With most of the artists living in China and a few living in the United States, WeChat is one of the few commonalities shared by all the artists in this exhibition. By establishing a dialogue between these artists, the exhibition We Chat offers a new vision of Chinese identity, one that is more fluid, subtle, and more open to global influences. The artists work in every medium—painting, photography, installation and video, even a fully operational video game built around a character called Uterusman. One artist, Yan Xing, will create a performative intervention on the Wesleyan campus specifically for this show. Together, these artists represent a generation on the rise whose artworks will certainly command international attention in the near future.

The works in this exhibition are on loan from Salon 94, New York; Tampa Museum of Art; Sean Kelly Gallery, New York; Inna Contemporary Art Space, New York; Red Brick Art Museum, Beijing; James Cohan Gallery, New York/Shanghai; Beijing Commune, Beijing; and Vanguard Gallery, Shanghai.

The exhibition is sponsored by Wesleyan University’s College of East Asian Studies and Office of Academic Affairs, with additional support from Sha Ye MA ’96, Andrew and Heather Rayburn, and Amy Gao. artscope and Art New England are media sponsors of this exhibition.

Related event:
China’s Youth: Another Cultural Revolution
Saturday, February 27, 1pm

Ring Family Performing Arts Hall (former CFA Hall)
287 Washington Terrace
Middletown, Connecticut Free

Barbara Pollack moderates a panel discussion about issues facing the post-Mao generation in China. Eric Fish is the author of the book China’s Millennials: The Want Generation, and a writer at Asia Society New York focusing on Chinese youth, politics, education, and social issues. Stanley Rosen teaches political science at the University of Southern California, specializing in Chinese politics and society. Michelle Yun is the Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Asia Society Museum.


We Chat: A Dialogue in Contemporary Chinese Art at Wesleyan University’s Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery

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Center for the Arts at Wesleyan University
January 18, 2016

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