Discussions that use works of art as blueprints have long been divorced from materials or tools of production and other foundational elements; instead, they have expanded to encompass chance encounters and feedback that arose as they grew and developed. In the infinite extension of its chain of life, publishing labels serve as intermediate points and not endpoints. Humanity's interest in the process of spiders making a web has almost completely disappeared, and the arrangement, reorganisation, hunting, and counterattacks that take place after the cobwebs form have become the subjects of a new kind of observation. However, artists are not content to have their subjectivities taken as samples to be observed, and with their rackets of cobwebs, they echo society's voices. The best works that arise out of this back and forth are rackets that have survived countless tests, and in different contexts, the artists' reactive movements and hitting methods reflect a personal style.
In the course of globalisation, a generation of artists has collectively sought out precise coordinates for Chinese contemporary art. Eastern contexts and spiritual signs are instruments of attack that can be used at any time, and whether in China or abroad, Chinese artists existing alone and confronting various challenges in the art world often find this overwhelming. However, the most important thing, an individual life, is overlooked, and so the first group of artists started to explore their inherent foundations, building and weaving their own styles and fashioning a shield of cobwebs.
This shield does not have superficial, traditional Eastern characteristics, nor does it respond to the Western media's clichés about the unfamiliarity of Chinese culture. Therefore, it uses dynamic coordinates to fight back against the intense provocation of constantly being questioned; it transforms itself into an active element in a relationship network and contributes nodes to this extent yet amorphous network in real time. A sustainable ecosystem that nurtures cobwebs changes its structure in response to constant counterattacks, bringing out the new and providing inspiration and support for a new ecosystem.
In the highly entropic stage at the end of every rapidly-developing process, cobwebs absorb these conflicts with their soft embrace, then present a product in their structural features. It is avant-garde not because it provides clever visual perspectives or displays impressive techniques, but because it is omnipresent in battle, and because it absorbs the things that occasionally control or restrain individual or collective emotion in a space. The act of hitting a ball is just a hypothetical, but it has intrinsic, unique properties that are related to our understanding of the dialogue between artists and viewers. Extending the concept of dialogue to the bodily dimension, the interlocking cycles formed as times change, as history cycles, and as regions shift, as well as the artists' analysis and organisation of their artistic ideas, are condensed into a site that allows for the casual contemplation of ideas. The artists in this exhibition coincidentally chose this 'racket of cobwebs' strategy. From accumulating the energy to spinning a web to wielding it freely, this one coherent, smooth movement could highlight the driving forces in the competitive arena of this new era.
Curator: Amy Lee
Press release courtesy Tang Contemporary Art.
This group exhibition curated by Amy Lee features remarkable pieces by 14 Chinese contemporary artists with their classic and innovative art.