Sun Dongdong

  • picks February 27, 2018

    “Frontier – Re-assessment of Post-Globalizational Politics”

    According to curator Lu Mingjun, the theme of this exhibition was inspired by the late historian Owen Lattimore’s writing on the frontiers of China. For Lattimore, the Great Wall is not a physical demarcation of the civilized from the barbaric but rather a large peripheral zone that is effectively the product of historical interaction between nomadic and agricultural cultures. Contained in this idea is a history of Greater China as an essentially multicultural entity. This conception is partly realized by the video that greets visitors in the front corridor of the exhibition: Cai Guo-Qiang’s

  • “Salon, Salon”

    Political terms such as two-line struggles or revisionism—terms the Communist Party had long communicated to the public in a top-down fashion—are now seldom publicly articulated by Chinese officials. As social stability has fallen prey to the ultimate principle of economic development, the state has largely eliminated the space for political debate. This fracture was deliberately highlighted in “Salon, Salon: Fine Art Practices from 1972 to 1982 in Profile—A Beijing Perspective,” the third exhibition of “From the Issue of Art to the Issue of Position: The Legacy of Socialist

  • Yan Xing

    In Yan Xing’s 2013 solo show at Galerie Urs Meile, the artist suspended a monitor from the courtyard entrance that played a video spelling out, in Chinese characters, the title of Richard Hamilton’s seminal 1956 collage Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing? This earlier installation was alluded to in Yan’s recent exhibition at the gallery: A copper plate inscribed with the character for “thief”—the title of both this show and this particular piece (2015)—was affixed to one of the courtyard’s steely gray–painted walls. These walls appear yet again in a

  • picks December 01, 2011

    “Out of the Box: The Threshold of Video Art in China 1984-1998,” Zhao Yao, “Little Movements”

    “Out of the Box,” a thematic group show that debuted at the Boers-Li Gallery in 2010, traveled this spring to the Times Museum, a new private institution in Guangzhou. The work in this retrospective of early Chinese video art fell into three categories: documentation of performances, such as those by the M Art Group in 1985; early experiments, such as Zhang Peili’s 30x30, 1988; and narrative works, including Zhou Tiehai’s Necessary, 1993. The exhibition attempted to challenge conservative attempts to define the previous thirty years of Chinese art history, but in truth, Chinese contemporary art