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"Past in Reverse: Contemporary Art of East Asia"
2005-06-03 until 2005-08-28
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
Kansas City, MO, USA

The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art will highlight the innovative ways Asia’s contemporary artists incorporate cultural histories and age-old techniques into their artwork when it presents Past in Reverse: Contemporary Art of East Asia, on view June 3–August 28, 2005. Past meets present in a diverse range of works by more than twenty contemporary Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese, and Korean artists and artist groups in this exhibition, which includes paintings, sculpture, photography, installation works, video, and digital media.

Past in Reverse will open with a public reception, 5:30–7:30 p.m., Friday, June 3 at the Kemper Museum. In addition to the reception, which is free and open to everyone, the public is also invited to participate in a variety of other educational activities planned in conjunction with the exhibition; see pages three–five for details.

Past in Reverse is a rich overview of how artists combine ancient techniques and expressions with new technologies to reveal the viability of incorporating longstanding traditions into contemporary art, honoring their respective cultural and artistic heritages in an increasingly globalized world. These artists explore conceptual and aesthetic principles that are rooted in the arts and culture of their particular regions. For example, Cai Guo-Qiang uses imagery from traditional Chinese landscape painting (a mountain, a long, tumbling waterfall) to create a skywriting drawing during an air show in California, an event that is documented in a video in the exhibition. In Game Series: Plant Contest (2000), photographer Cao Fei adds a modern advertising sensibility to her image of women reenacting the ancient Chinese pastime of composing poems in homage to flowers they have picked.

A fully illustrated, 184-page soft-cover catalogue featuring an introductory essay by the exhibition’s curator, Betti-Sue Hertz, accompanies Past in Reverse. The handsome catalogue includes four other scholarly essays by an international team of noted experts: Taehi Kang (South Korea), Li Xianting (China), Midori Matsui (Japan), and Zhang Zhaohui (China). Full-color illustrations of works in the exhibition, extended entries devoted to each artist, a checklist, and biographies of the artists and essayists are also included in the catalogue. It sells for $35.00, and is available in the Museum Shop or via the Web site at www.kemperart.org.

Past in Reverse: Contemporary Art of East Asia was organized by the San Diego Museum of Art, and major support was provided by the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation.

Exhibition artists and artist groups
Ryoko Aoki (born 1973, Japanese, lives in Kyoto)
Yiso Bahc (1957–2004, South Korean)
Cai Guo-Qiang (born 1957, Chinese, lives in New York)
Cao Fei (born 1978, Chinese, lives in Guangzhou)
Flyingcity Urbanism Research Group (South Korean, formed 2000, live in Seoul)
Hiroshi Fuji (born 1960, Japanese, lives in Fukuoka)
G8 Public Relations and Art Consultation Corporations (formed 2002, Taiwanese, live in Taipei)
Hung Yi (born 1970, Taiwanese, lives in Taichung)
Hee-Jeong Jang (born 1969, South Korean, lives in Seoul)
Soun-gui Kim (born 1946, Korean, lives in Paris)
Kim Young Jin (born 1961, South Korean, lives in Seoul)
Leung Mee Ping (born 1961, Chinese, lives in Hong Kong)
Michael Lin (born 1964, Japanese, lives in Paris)
Mitsushima Takayuki (born 1954, Japanese, lives in Kyoto)
Shao Yinong and Muchen (born 1961 and 1970 respectively, Chinese, live in Beijing)
Wilson Shieh (born 1970, Chinese, lives in Hong Kong)
Wang Jianwei (born 1958, Chinese, lives in Beijing)
Wang Qingsong (born 1966, Chinese, lives in Beijing)
Yang Fudong (born 1971, Chinese, lives in Shanghai)
Yangjiang Calligraphy Group (formed 2002, Chinese, live in Yangjiang)
Shizuka Yokomizo (born 1966, Japanese, lives in London)

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