September 4, 2010 - Asia Art Archive, The Museum of Modern Art, New York - Materials of the Future–Documenting Contemporary Chinese Art from 1980-1990 and Contemporary Chinese Art: Primary Documents
September 4, 2010

Materials of the Future–Documenting Contemporary Chinese Art from 1980-1990 and Contemporary Chinese Art: Primary Documents

Left: AAA’s archiving project, “Materials of the Future: Documenting Contemporary Chinese Art from 1980-1990.”
Right: MoMA’s publication, “Contemporary Chinese Art: Primary Documents.”

Materials of the Future--Documenting Contemporary Chinese Art from 1980-1990 and Contemporary Chinese Art: Primary Documents

Asia Art Archive www.aaa.org.hk
The Museum of Modern Art www.moma.org

Asia Art Archive (AAA) and The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) celebrate the completion of two documentary projects that are essential to a deeper understanding of the history of contemporary Chinese art: AAA’s archiving project, Materials of the Future: Documenting Contemporary Chinese Art from 1980-1990 and MoMA’s publication, Contemporary Chinese Art: Primary Documents. The two organizations will co-launch both projects in major cities in China and in New York in the Fall of 2010 with a series of public programs. These milestone projects focus on the dramatic development and growth of Chinese contemporary art over the last three decades by documenting, collecting and translating critical discussions, primary materials and key texts.

Materials of the Future: Documenting Contemporary Chinese Art from 1980-1990
The 1980s was a seminal period in China’s recent art history. During this time, many of China’s most celebrated artists attended art academies, held their first exhibitions, and developed the intellectual foundation for the art practices that have contributed to their present success. In order to foster research into this transformative moment in Chinese history, AAA has undertaken a four year focused archiving project; collecting, indexing and preserving rare documentary and primary source materials. As a result, AAA has collected hundreds of texts published during the 1980s, completed 75 video-taped interviews, produced a documentary film, and digitized the personal archives of renowned artists and curators, including Fei Dawei, Zhang Xiaogang, Zheng Shengtian, Lu Peng, Mao Xuhui and Wu Shanzhuan, to name a few. With a total of over 70,000 digital documents, AAA now maintains the world’s largest and most systematically organized archive of documentary material on the period. This scholarly resource will be freely accessible and open to the public from AAA’s physical premises as well as through a dedicated web portal www.china1980s.org starting September 2010.

Contemporary Chinese Art: Primary Documents
Despite the liveliness and creativity of avant-garde Chinese art in the post-Mao era and its prominence in the world of international contemporary art, a systematic introduction to this important work in any Western language is still lacking. Contemporary Chinese Art: Primary Documents remedies this situation by bringing together carefully selected primary texts in English translation. The documents included range from the manifestos of avant-garde groups, prefaces to important exhibitions, writings by representative artists, important critical, analytical essays and others. Arranged in chronological order, the texts guide readers through the development of avant-garde Chinese art from 1976 until 2006. Edited by Wu Hung, Director of the Center for the Art of East Asia and Consulting Curator at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, with the assistance of Peggy Wang, Assistant Professor at Denison University, Contemporary Chinese Art: Primary Documents is published by The Museum of Modern Art and will be available at MoMA Stores and online at www.MoMAStore.org in October 2010. It is distributed to the trade by Duke University Press, www.dukeupress.edu.

Schedule of Public Programs
The co-launch will be accompanied by a series of discussion forums with artists, curators and scholars:
Hong Kong, 7th September, 6.30-8.30pm, Hong Kong Arts Centre
Speakers include: Chen Tong (Artist), Doryun Chong (Associate Curator of Painting & Sculpture at MoMA), Jane DeBevoise (Chair of Board of Directors of AAA), Wang Aihe (Associate Professor, School of Chinese, The University of Hong Kong); Wu Hung (Director of the Center for the Art of East Asia, and Consulting Curator at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago) and Xu Tan (Artist)

Beijing, 9th September, 6.30-8.30pm, The Central Academy of Fine Arts
Speakers include: Doryun Chong, Jane DeBevoise, Song Dong (Artist), Huang Rui (Artist), Wu Hung and Xu Bing (Artist)

Shanghai, 11th September, 4-6pm, Minsheng Art Museum
Speakers include: Doryun Chong, Jane DeBevoise, Wu Shanzhuan (Artist), Shi Yong (Artist), Wu Hung and Yu Youhan (Artist)

New York, 15th October, 6:30-8.30pm, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Bartos Theatre
Speakers include: Jane DeBevoise, Huang Rui, Huang Yongping (Artist), Lin Tianmiao (Artist), Sarah Suzuki (Assistant Curator of Prints & Illustrated Books at MoMA), and Wu Hung. The event will be followed by a reception, where the book will be available for purchase.

Organizers of co-launch: ArtHub Asia in co-operation with Minsheng Art Museum (Shanghai), Asia Art Archive (Hong Kong), The Central Academy of Fine Arts (Beijing), and The Museum of Modern Art (New York)

Materials of the Future: Documenting Contemporary Chinese Art from 1980-1990 is made possible by the generous support of The Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation, The W.L.S. Spencer Foundation, Ilyas and Mara Khan, and the Foundation for Arts Initiatives.

Contemporary Chinese Art: Primary Documents is made possible by lead sponsor The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation. Generous support is provided by The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art. Additional funding is provided by Budi Tek, Byron A. Meyer, E. Rhodes & Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley, Blakemore Foundation, Guy and Myriam Ullens, LLWW Foundation, OCT Contemporary Art Terminal of He Xiangning Art Museum (OCAT), Anne H. Bass, Jo Carole Lauder, Larry Warsh and AW Asia, Robert Rosenkranz Foundation, Vicki and Roger Sant, Agnes Gund, Robert E. Meyerhoff, The Fran and Ray Stark Foundation, H.R.H. Duke Franz of Bavaria, Jack Shear, Thierry Barbier-Mueller, Mr. Marc Besen AO and Mrs. Eva Besen AO, Lyn and Jerry Grinstein in honor of Jay Levenson, Sophia Sheng, Eleanor Ford Sullivan, Migs Wright, Constance Caplan, Uli Sigg, and Lenore and Bernard Greenberg.

The co-launch events are made possible with the generous support of The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art, The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation, and additional support from Hong Kong Arts Centre and JIA Boutique Hotels.

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