Chinese Contemporary Art on Show (UK): June/July 2016

Another list of Chinese Contemporary Art on Show…again more of an events listing, a what’s on of talks, films and happenings. As ever, if I have missed anything that should be on the list let me know.

  1. 30 Years of CFCCA: Susan Pui San Lok – Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA), Manchester, UK
    Until 3 July 2016
    susan pui san lok presents a new body of work titled RoCH Faans & Legends, commissioned by QUAD and CFCCA, in partnership with the University of Salford and Animate projects.  The exhibition features single and multichannel moving image works both in the gallery and online. RoCH (Return of the Condor Heroes) draws on adaptations of The Condor Trilogy (1957-61), a classic ‘wuxia’ epic published in the late fifties by Hong Kong author Louis Cha. Wuxia means ‘martial hero’ and is a distinct genre of Chinese fiction concerning the adventures of martial artists in ancient China. RoCH explores some of the genre’s recurring tropes, fantasies, landscapes and archetypes as well as its many iteration in popular culture.


  2. 30 Years of CFCCA: Yu-Chen Wang (Gallery 2) – Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA), Manchester, UK
    Until 31 July 2016
    Yu-Chen Wang retrospective exhibition takes the artist’s personal experience as a starting point to explore notions of memory and identity, past and future, fiction and reality. The collaborations, live events, drawings and other aspects of Yu-Chen’s journey to becoming an artist will be documented and developed into new work for the solo show at CFCCA. The exhibition will explore private and collective memory of exhibitions through presentation of text, images, documentation and re-enactment.

  3. ‘A Beautiful Disorder’Cass Sculpture Foundation, Goodwood, West Sussex, UK
    3 July – 6 November 2016
    The first major exhibition of newly commissioned outdoor sculpture by contemporary Chinese artists to be shown in the UK. From May 2016, sixteen monumental outdoor sculptures will be on display throughout the grounds of CASS. These artists employ a variety of ambitious sculptural techniques across a range of materials including bronze, stone, steel and wood. I cannot wait for this show! I’m heading to the press launch on 1 July so keep an eye on my social media feed for a sneak peek.
    Review by Dr. Ros Holmes on her blog ‘The Mediated Image’ here.
    Review by En Liang Khong for FT here.

    Wang Yuyang, Identity, 2016. (Rendering)
    ‘Identity’ (2016) by Wang Yuyang (Rendering)
  4. TALK: Jennifer Wen Ma: Molar – The Sackler Research Forum, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London
    28 June 2016, 5.30pm
    In this talk, the Chinese multi-media and installation artist Jennifer Wen Ma will discuss her innovative use of Chinese ink and her longstanding research into mythological gardens in relation to her recent work Molar that will be shown in the exhibition A Beautiful Disorder at Cass Sculpture Foundation.

    Jennifer Wen Ma talk.jpg

  5. ‘Physique of Consciousness’ by Xu Zhen for Art Night London -The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court, Somerset House, London
    2 July 2016, 5pm [The space is open as a social hub from 5pm – 12am and does not require booking. Performances begin at 6pm, 7pm, 8pm, 9pm, 10pm, each with a running time of 50 minutes.]
    Xu Zhen presents the first mass UK performance of the ongoing project Physique of Consciousness in the courtyard of Somerset House, in collaboration with hundreds of participants from across London. Described as the first “cultural fitness exercise” ever made, Physique of Consciousness takes the form of a performance comprising movements derived from dance, gymnastics and different forms of exercise, alongside spiritual and cultural rituals. Physique of Consciousness, produced by MadeIn Company, plays with the history and politics of mass exercise in China, alongside ideas of health, well-being and spirituality and the industries around them that we consume today.

    Xu Zhen Art Night London 2016
    Physique of Consciousness (video still) (2011) by Xu Zhen, produced by MadeIn Company. Image courtesy the artist.
  6. Qin FengMichael Goedhuis,  London
    1 July – 1 September 2016
    A tough, rebellious, iconoclastic Ink artist, Qin Feng has established an international reputation as one of the art-stars of the Chinese cultural landscape. His work has long been recognised and collected by numerous museums both in the West and in Asia, and has been represented in many of the major international exhibitions throughout the world in the past twenty years, including the Venice Biennale and The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Click here for the catalogue.

    ‘Desire Scenery 015’ (2014) by Qin Feng. Ink and acrylic on linen paper. 62 ½ x 62 ½ in (159 x 220 cm). Image courtesy of Michael Goedhuis

  7. Summer Show – Rossi & Rossi, London, UK
    July – August 2016
    Featuring artists Ma Desheng, Heman Chong, Faiza Butt, Leang Seckon, Tsherin Sherpa, Naiza Khan, Tenzing Rigdol, Palden Weinreb, Kesang Lamdark and Nicole Wong.

    Rossi and Rossi summer show 2016.jpeg
    Image courtesy if Rossi & Rossi
  8. Liverpool Biennial 2016 – Across Liverpool, UK
    Opening 7-8 July 2016
    9 July – 16 October
    For the ninth edition of the Biennial, 44 international artists will create new work for locations across the city, alongside a showcase of ten associate artists working in the North of England. Liverpool Biennial 2016 has been conceived as a series of episodes, drawing inspiration from Liverpool’s past, present and future: Children’s Episode, Ancient Greece, Chinatown, Flashback, Software, and Monuments from the Future.
    Featuring Chinese artists Yin Ju-Chen, Lu Pingyuan and more…

    Lu Pingyuan, Unexpected Discovery, 2015
    ‘Unexpected Discovery’ (2015) by Lu Pingyuan
  9. ‘Here be Dragons’ by Gordon Cheung – Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Nottingham, UK
    Until 17 July 2016
    This solo exhibition, generously supported by Edel Assanti, London and Alan Cristea Gallery, London will feature new large-scale paintings, animations and digital works made especially for Nottingham Castle and shown here for the first time. Here be Dragons is a reference to cartographical ‘Unknown Lands’, meaning dangerous or unexplored territories.  For Cheung, it frames the geopolitical situation in the South China Sea where new territorial lines are being contested and redrawn. It is also a phrase that is also used by computer programmers to caution a region of code that is complex, informing the ‘glitch’ (New Order) digital works that are based on 17th century Dutch painting and traditional Chinese Ink painting, including works drawn from the Castle’s own collection.

    Fishing for Souls Gordon Cheung
    ‘Fishing for Souls (After Adriaen Pietersz. van de Venne, 1614)’ (2015) by Gordon Cheung. 6 min loop with 3 hour soundtrack loop. Image courtesy of the artist.

  10. The world is yours, as well as ours – White Cube Mason’s Yard, London, UK
    Opening Thursday 14 July 2016, 6-8pm
    15 July – 10 September 2016
    Group exhibition of Chinese abstract painting. Featured artists include Jiang Zhi, Liang Quan, Liu Wentao, Qian Jiahua, Qin Yifeng, Su Xiaobai, Tang Guo, Yu Youhan and Zhou Li.

    Yu Youhan
    Abstract 2007.12.1 (2007) by Yu Youhan © Yu Youhan
  11. Hong Ling: A Retrospective – Brunei Gallery Exhibition Rooms, SOAS, London, UK
    A retrospective by the celebrated Chinese painter Hong Ling (b.1955). The exhibition follows Hong Ling’s recent retirement from the prestigious Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), Beijing, where he taught oil painting since 1987.

    Hong Ling
    Snow Dome (2000) by Hong Ling, Oil on canvas, 200 x 200 cm, Collection of the artist. Copyright Hong Ling.
  12. CALL FOR PAPERS: Making the New World: The Arts of China’s Cultural Revolution – Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art (JCCA)
    Abstracts (250 words) – due Friday 1 July 2016
    Full manuscripts (6-7,000 words) – due Monday 30 January 2017
    Publication in Volume 4, Issues 2 and 3, Autumn 2017We encourage papers from a variety of subject areas and interdisciplinary perspectives to develop new understandings of the Cultural Revolution beyond conventional studies. The following set of 10 ‘relationships’ is seen indicative, but not limited to the discussions around the arts of the Cultural Revolution:

    – Art, culture and politics
    – Art, mass art and non-art
    – Amateur and professional: artists, participants and audiences
    – Art production, dissemination and reception
    – Collective and private spaces: squares, streets and buildings
    – The conformity and the rebellions: uniforms and the body
    – Mass assemblies and parades: performative and immersive experiences
    – Model operas, musicals and everyday life
    – Songs, voices and the spirit
    – Written words and images.

    Please send submissions entitled: ‘JCCA – Making the New World: The Arts of China’s Cultural Revolution’ to Jiang Jiehong:

  13. Contemporary Chinese Works on Paper – The Waterfront Gallery, The University of Suffolk, Ipswich, UK
    7 July – 2 August 2016
    Curated by Robert Priseman, Mengmeng Wang from Xi’an China and Marco Cali this exhibition includes outstanding contemporary drawings from China by outstanding and leading artists from China. These prestigious artists’ works included in the exhibition reflect decades of transition from traditional art to the current and dynamic presentation of what contemporary art is occurring in China today. As a counter point to the work of the Chinese artists and academics, British artist Wendy Elia’s multi-ethnic work Made In Britain is also included. This exciting exhibition is accompanied by the Symposium Exchanging Notes With China on 1 August where artists from China and from Britain will be presenting their work and discussing contemporary art today.

    ‘Dangerous Liaisons ii’ (2015) by Zhang Danni, 29 x 21cm

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