shanghai

View of “Advance Through Retreat,” 2014. Left wall: Li Zhengtian, On Socialist Democracy and the Chinese Legal System, 2014. Middle and right: Andreas Mayer-Brennenstuhl, Rewriting Modernity; De-growth Now, 2014.

“Advance Through Retreat”

Rockbund Art Museum (RAM) | 上海外滩美术馆

View of “Advance Through Retreat,” 2014. Left wall: Li Zhengtian, On Socialist Democracy and the Chinese Legal System, 2014. Middle and right: Andreas Mayer-Brennenstuhl, Rewriting Modernity; De-growth Now, 2014.

“New ink art,” the quasi-traditional painting practice that has enjoyed a critical and commercial resurgence over the past two years, is one side of an awareness of tradition that has never been far out of view in Chinese contemporary art. Although the notion of tradition offered one of the few alternatives to the politics of dissidence that had become the dominant mode of critical currency by the early 1990s in the mainland, it seems to have been forgotten these days that the ’85 New Wave, which preceded the market-driven movements of Political Pop and Cynical Realism, marked a reaction against the traditions of Chinese painting as much as a response to the confines of socialist-realist training in the academy. Now, with the resurgence of a very specific interest in “new ink,” the complex and layered evolution of traditional thinking in contemporary practice has been reduced to

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