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Tag: Chinese art

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Go Figure! Contemporary Chinese Portraiture

Saturday, October 13th, 2012 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

There is a simple explanation as to why Chinese contemporary art is so relentlessly satirical: 27 years of ideological rectitude, including that final decade of Mao-induced madness known as the Cultural Revolution. From the time the Communist Party took over in 1949 there was nothing much to laugh about. The workers paradise had been achieved, […]

Art Essays

18th Biennale of Sydney

Saturday, July 14th, 2012 Aboriginal Art, Art Essays, Australian Art, Chinese Art, International Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

One of the most striking images in the 18th Biennale of Sydney is that of Japanese artist Sachiko Abe, dressed in bridal white, sitting in a small brick building in Cockatoo Island, cutting paper. Visitors are asked to remain silent, so the only sound is the noise made by Abe’s scissors as she trims sheets […]

Art Essays

18th Biennale of Sydney

Saturday, July 7th, 2012 Aboriginal Art, Art Essays, Australian Art, Chinese Art, International Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

“Between belief in Nature and belief in politics, one has to choose,” writes French sociologist, Bruno Latour, in the stand-out essay in this year’s Biennale catalogue. We have a perfect demonstration of this principle in the hysterical debate about a carbon price. While Nature is forever, politics is an exercise in short-term, strategic thinking that […]

Art Essays

Down the Rabbit Hole

Saturday, June 9th, 2012 Art Essays, Chinese Art, International Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Last year, according to The New York Times, 395 museums were built across China. As with most things in this vast, mysterious country, the statistics give only a superficial glimpse of the complexities involved. Firstly one might question the Chinese definition of “museum”, which may be a grandiose word for a lot of small-scale enterprises. […]

Art Essays

Brian Wallace

Saturday, January 14th, 2012 Australian Art, Chinese Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Over the past two decades Chinese art has made inroads into the Australian museum and gallery world, prompting Brian Wallace of Bejing’s Red Gate gallery, to put together a travelling exhibition for his native land. To welcome in the year of the Dragon, the City of Sydney will host Two Generations – 20 years of […]

Art Essays

Tokujin Yoshioka, Shen Shaomin & Chun Kwang-Young

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011 Art Essays, Chinese Art, General Art Essays, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

There is an emerging trend in town: slipper art, and it has nothing to do with the new Speaker in Federal Parliament. At two venues this week the viewer is asked to slip a protective covering over his or her shoes, so as not to soil the art. This is slightly at odds with the […]

Art Essays

German idols

Saturday, November 5th, 2011 Art Essays, Chinese Art, International Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

In Germany, Ai Weiwei is the new Joseph Beuys. I arrived at this conclusion in Berlin, after seeing an exhibition of film footage of Joseph Beuys in Japan, at the Hamburger Bahnhof; and a show of 220 photos by Ai Weiwei, at the Martin-Gropius Bau. I’ve been in Deutschland for a conference on the Chinese […]

Art Essays

Guanxi

Saturday, October 15th, 2011 Art Essays, Chinese Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Guanxi is a curious word. It is usually translated as  “contacts”, but there is no single English-language term that captures all the connotations it has for a Chinese speaker. Guanxi refers to a special kind of relationship between people whereby one may always be counted on to help the other. Such relationships are long-term and […]

Art Essays

White Rabbit: Beyond the Frame

Saturday, October 8th, 2011 Chinese Art, International Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Back again is Ai Weiwei’s Oil spill (2007) – a series of shiny black porcelain discs that sit flat on the floor, mimicking drops of black gold. In typical fashion, Ai Weiwei takes a substance associated with toxic pollution and transforms it into an aesthetic delicacy. Such ironic turnarounds and dislocations are characteristic of his […]

Art Essays

Yang Fudong

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011 Chinese Art, Film Reviews, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Q: When is a film not a film? A: When it’s a work of contemporary art. Of all the current crop of Chinese artists who have become stars of the Biennale circuit, Yang Fudong (b.1971) is one of the most difficult to categorise. Having studied painting at the Academy of Art in Hangzhou, he has […]