Sun Dongdong

  • Qiu Xiaofeng, Red, 2020, oil on canvas, 78 3⁄4 × 118 1⁄8".

    Qiu Xiaofei

    Some viewers might have expected this two-part solo show to be a retrospective—“Part I: RED” ran through October, while “Part II: Trotskyky Grew into a Tree” was on view through January—especially since the artist was personally involved in the curation. But the earlier works, made around 2003, soon after his graduation from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, do not connect to the recent ones in ways that reveal an internal logic. In other words, the old works were not meant to support the understanding of the subsequent ones, but to inspire memory. The upshot was a sustained dialogue

  • Duan Jianyu, Automatic Writing No.1, 2019,oil, acrylic, oil-based marker and spray paint on canvas, 70 7/8 x 78 3/4''.
    picks October 16, 2020

    Duan Jianyu

    Though small in scale, Duan Jianyu’s new solo exhibition, “Automatic Writing - Automatic Understanding,” covers the artist’s creative output from 2014 to 2020, giving viewers a sense of how her practice has evolved since her two-person show with Hu Xiaoyuan at Shanghai’s Rockbund Art Museum in 2013. Duan’s motifs remain consistent, evoking elements of traditional Chinese painting, Western modernism, China’s contemporary cityscapes, and shifting conceptions of femininity. Of course, male identity figures in Duan’s painterly world too, in works such as Gong Xian, 2014, and Automatic Writing No.1

  • Cai Guo-Qiang, Project to Extend the Great Wall of China by 10,000 Meters: Project for Extraterrestrials No. 10, 1993, single channel video, color, sound, 10 minutes 7 seconds.
    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

  • View of “Salon, Salon: Fine Art Practices from 1972 to 1982 in Profile—A Beijing Perspective,” 2017. Photo: Fang Yongfa.

    “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, The Story of Shame (detail), 2015, ink-jet prints, silk-embroidered socks and silk handkerchiefs, shoe, dimensions variable. Photo: Hao Ge.

    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

  • Zhao Yao, No. 7, 2010, wood, styrofoam, varnish, plastic wrap, plastic bottles, iron wire, 73 1/2 x 43 x 47".
    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