In Meiro Koizumi's three-channel video installation, The Angels of Testimony (2019), the central frame features an interview with Hajime Kondo about his time as a solider of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The conversation centres on war crimes perpetrated in China, including the beheading of Chinese prisoners for...
Diana Campbell Betancourt is a curator working predominantly across South and Southeast Asia. Since 2013 she has been the founding artistic director of the Samdani Art Foundation and chief curator of the Dhaka Art Summit in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a transnational art event that has grown in size and scale ever since its first edition in 2012. Backed by...
China, home to 802 million internet users, is subject to sophisticated online censorship. This shrouded state of affairs, unsurprisingly perhaps, serves to reinforce stereotypes around conformity elsewhere. Any realm, digital or otherwise, subject to such strict scrutiny must necessarily be bland and uncritical, right? I was mulling over such...
Michael Goedhuis is delighted to present a selection of works for this year’s The Salon Art + Design fair. Our focus is on Chinese contemporary ink works on paper, represented by artists such as Wei Ligang, Qin Feng, Wang Dongling, Yang Yanping, Yao Jui-chung, Leung Kui Ting and Zeng Shanqing.
China is the oldest surviving civilisation on earth, and Chinese contemporary ink works, from calligraphy and paintings to photography and video, express the continuation of this vast past in ways that are meaningful for society today both in China and the West.
Calligraphy is the sublime and central achievement of China and has been practised for hundreds of years by millions of Chinese, for whom it is a method of achieving the harmonious integration of mind and body.
Painting, together with calligraphy, poetry and music, constitutes one of the four key traditional arts of China and is an extension of the art of calligraphy. It is, therefore, like calligraphy, linked to the sacred prestige of the written word.
Today’s ink artists are deeply aware of the classical canon and its aesthetic and moral imperatives and have carefully studied the old masters - as Picasso and Cézanne studied Raphael, Poussin, Velázquez and others, in order to formulate their own revolution for their work to be meaningful for the world of today.
Very many different stylistic approaches have evolved over the past 30 years. Works now range from those that, at first sight, look quite traditional but in fact embody powerful, fresh aesthetic initiatives, via those poised delicately in an intermediate style, to those that are unambiguously avant-garde. But all of the best contemporary practitioners have a common purpose… to create works that do not jettison the great cultural legacy of the past in formulating a language that addresses the intellectual, cultural and social issues of today.
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