• “The Real Thing”

    Tate Liverpool

    THE INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCE of “Chinese contemporary art,” first as a sphere of cultural activity, then as a category, and most recently as a market sector, has been driven by what we might term the “China show.” The China show typically presents a sprawling assemblage of works by a large number of artists, which is taken as illustrative of larger historical conditions and contemporary social realities. Since the early 1990s, this exhibition has been through dozens of incarnations—at museums of greater and lesser heft, mediated by curators with different tastes and diverse institutional imperatives,

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