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Indepth Arts News:

"Highlights of the Chengdu Biennale"
2002-03-17 until 2002-04-30
Courtyard Gallery
Beijing, , CN China

China's contemporary art scene received a formidable boost in 2001 with the premiere of the Chengdu Biennale at the Chengdu Museum of Modern Art. Conceived in the wake of the enormously successful Shanghai Biennale and Chengdu's recent emergence as a hot spot for contemporary art, the Chengdu Biennale showcased works from a roster of China's established and emerging young artists.

The CourtYard Gallery is pleased to present selected works from these artists featured in the Biennale: Chen Ke, He Yunchang, Hong Hao, Jin Feng, Li Jin, Li Luming, Li Yingrong, the Luo Brothers, Qiu Deshu, Ren Xiaolin, Wang Shugang, Xia Xiaowan, Xu Wentao, and Zhou Xiaohu.

Curated by Gu Zhenqing and Meg Maggio, the CourtYard°'s Highlights of the Chengdu Biennale presents a collection of works which illustrate the kaleidoscopic influences and concerns that bear upon contemporary Chinese art. Qiu Deshu and Li Jin's paintings are exemplars of unquestionably modern sensibilities engaged in dialogue with age-old traditions in Chinese painting, while the currents of commodification and technology in contemporary life are examined by the lively kitsch- and collage-inspired works of the Luo Brothers and Zhou Xiaohu. Several artists contemplate the human subject on a distinctly introspective note, from Wang Shugang and Xia Xiaowan's powerful depictions of emotion through corporeal detail to Ren Xiaolin and Chen Ke°'s evocative portrait series. Each artist has a distinctly unique vision. Yet, seen together, they provide compelling evidence that Chinese artists have transcended the conventional themes of ideology and identity in Chinese art, which are now reconceptualized as part of the more universal themes of subjectivity and representation in a postmodern era.

The striking diversity of these works is also evidence of the maturing complexity of the contemporary China-based art scene. Artists in China have long faced difficulties in getting their works to a mainland audience due to insufficient funding for public museums and a scarcity of professional galleries; many have moved to work and live overseas as a result. However, contemporary art is finally gaining greater critical exposure and recognition from Chinese as well as foreign audiences. The past few years have seen the dynamic rise of a vibrant mainland art community with increased participation from curators, local collectors, foreign artists, and international museums. In this light, the recent success of these artists at the Chengdu Biennale is a positive sign that China's emerging talents will soon stand to reap their deserved acclaim within China.

Hong Hao
Things No. 1
120 x 210cm
Computer-manipulated photograph

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