November 25, 2003 - Zachęta National Gallery of Art - New Zone – Chinese Art
November 25, 2003

New Zone – Chinese Art

New Zone - Chinese Art
02/12/2003 - 01/02/2004

The Zacheta National Gallery of Art
pl. Malachowskiego 3, 00-916 Warsaw
tel. + 48 22 8275854
fax. + 48 22 8277886

curator: Maria Brewinska

opening: 1 December, 2003, 7 p.m.

Press conference: 1 December , 2003, 12.00 noon

After the domination of art from the so-called West, we are now approaching a new zone in art the art of the other. The exhibition NEW ZONE – CHINESE ART is dedicated to the most innovative contemporary Chinese artists such as: Ai Wei Wei, Chen Hen, Cui Xiuwen, Hong Lei, Huang Yong Ping, Kan Xuan, Li Yongbin Lin Tianmiao, Lu Hao, Qiu Shihua, Shen Yuan, Sun Yuan, Wang Gongxin, Wang Guofeng, Wang Jianwei, Weng Fen, Xiang Jing, Xie Nankin, Xu Bing, Yang Fudong, Yang Maoyuan, Yang Pei Ming, Zhang Bo, Zhang Huan, Zhao Liang, Zhou Tiehai, Zhou Xiaohu and Marina Abramovic&Ulay. It includes works of various disciplines: sculpture / installation, video, video installations, photography and painting. It is focused on the full range of the visual arts and therefore hopes to provide an overview of the current Chinese art scene and its long march to Art.

The term New Zone serves to provoke a series of associations. Firstly, it indicates the emergence of a new region within the framework of the existing political and geographical partitions of the world. It also hints at the appearance of something unknown, something inaccessible and mysterious, which nonetheless has the power to fascinate. It indicates a region which becomes attractive on account of its very otherness. In the more realistic context of the new order and the gradual disappearance of borders (both in terms of globalisation and the transformations of China), the new zone relates to the changes brought about by the incorporation of elements of the capitalist system. In this sense it has appeared as a zone of changes to the political, economic and cultural model that structured life in old China, taken up the question: Do All Roads Lead to the West?

Globalisation / Post-colonialism / Post – Tradition / Undocumented People / New Urbanism / Love / The Self / Body in its Meatness / Irony / Visual Archives / Writing The art shown at the exhibition New Zone is a reaction against the prohibitions of the preceding decades and articulates the changes and contrasts of contemporary China. Above all it opens up the diverse fields of everyday life, which existed on the margins of the official zone, and the dynamic transformations of urban space and the architectural boom in new China. It takes up the question of globalisation and the threats it carries, of colonialism and its contemporary guises, and of the relations between tradition and modernity. It focuses on attempts to get to know people: their experiences, the private sphere, their dreams, their loves, their fears and their relations to the human body in its very materiality, as meat. Everything in this art becomes a potential indicator of a change in social perception and in social aspirations that sees society not just as a single mass, but as differentiated groups and individuals. This art functions furthermore as a visual archive, through its return to a past dominated by propaganda materials, films and portraits of Mao, it gives a reckoning of the period of the Cultural Revolution.

The exhibition NEW ZONE CHINESE ART is the first presentation of Chinese contemporary artists to the Polish public. Their truly unique artworks, that open new visual dimensions and create new visual sensations, have been exhibited since the beginning of the 90s at events such as the Biennials in Venice, Saõ Paulo, Sydney, Lyon, Kwangju, the Documenta in Kassel, the Triennial in Yokohama, and also at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (Inside Out: New Chinese Art, 1998), the Smart Museum of Art, Chicago (Transience, Chinese Experimental Art, 1999), the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin (Living in Time: 29 Contemporary Artists from China, 2001) to name just a few.

Exhibition will be accompanied by the catalogue with the text by Maria Staniszkis (Professor of Sociology and Political Science at the Warsaw University) and Gao Minglu (Professor of Art History at the State University of New York Buffalo).

Zachęta National Gallery of Art
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