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Indepth Arts News:

"Jiang Hu: Contemporary Chinese Art"
2006-05-24 until 2006-06-30
Tilton Gallery
New York, NY, USA United States of America

Jiang Hu, a broad survey exhibition representing the best in contemporary Chinese art, will be on view at the Tilton Gallery from May 23 - June 30. The exhibition features painting, sculpture, video and photography by some of China’s most important artists working today, including Zeng Fanzhi, Wang Guangyi, and Feng Zhengjie. Organized by Huang Zhuan, an internationally recognized curator and professor of art theory at the Ganzhou Academy, the exhibition features works by 34 Chinese artists, both established and emerging.

The show’s title, Jiang Hu, can be literally translated as “rivers and lakes,” but its metaphoric meanings are rich and varied. It can denote a “wild or unsettled region,” or an idyllic fictional realm inhabited by itinerant outsiders, including scholars, monks, fortune-tellers and artists, who were said to possess magical powers. . In more recent times, Jiang Hu refers to the underworld society whose members possess the gravity defying powers of flight and super-human martial arts skills as popularized in the recent film, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The multi-layered meaning of the title speaks to the fluid, dynamic boundaries of the project itself: the new exhibition is inaugurating a larger, ongoing five-year project that will include traveling exhibitions and continuing dialogue with the selected artists. Jiang Hu opens during the Asia Society’s Contemporary Chinese Art Week.

“While contemporary Chinese art is only now receiving the interest and attention that it merits, the Tilton Gallery has been showcasing works from China for nearly a decade,” said Janine Cirincione, director of the Tilton Gallery. “This is the perfect opportunity for New Yorkers to see for themselves why Chinese art has set the contemporary art world ablaze.” Cirincione noted that Sotheby’s first-ever contemporary Chinese art auction held in New York recently set record-breaking prices.

Corresponding exhibits, drawing from the same group of artists, were held at Roberts & Tilton in Los Angeles from April 29 - May 20, 2006 and will be at the Kustera Tilton Gallery in Chelsea from May 25 - July 14, 2006.

Participating artists include: Cui Xiuwen, Feng Zhengjie, Gu Dexin, Guan Wei, Gu Wenda, He Sen, Lin Yilin, Liu Wei, Lu Hao, Ma Liuming, Ni Haifeng, Shi Tou, Sui Jianguo, Peng Yu, Sun Yuan, Unmask Group, Wang Bo, Wang Guangyi, Wang Jianwei, Wang Luyan, Wang Yin, Wang Youshen, Wu Shanzhuan, Xiang Jing, Xu Tan, Yang Shaobin, Yue Minjun, Zeng Fanzhi, Zeng Hao, Zeng Li, Zhang Xiaogang, Zhang Xiaotao, Zhao Gang, and Zhu Jia.

In another example of its commitment to Chinese art, the Tilton Gallery is establishing an artist-in-residency program in Tongxian, just outside of Beijing, due to open this summer, 2006. After purchasing several acres of land in the Chinese arts district ten years ago, gallery owner Jack Tilton commissioned the construction of two new buildings. Leading Chinese sculptor and architect Ai Wei Wei designed one of the structures, and the Boston-based architectural firm Office dA created the second. Both buildings will provide housing, studio, and exhibition space for the residency program, which offers a unique opportunity to international artists to live and work in China. A third building, a raised courtyard designed by artist Zhao Gang is currently under construction.

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