Pauline Yao Lecture: In the Mood for a Museum: Art and Collecting at M+, Hong Kong

This Thursday I have invited Pauline J. Yao to Oxford, where she has generously agreed to deliver a lecture on art and collecting at M+ to students and staff at The Ruskin School of Art (although the lecture is open to all). Pauline is currently in the UK as a Leverhulme Visiting Professor at the University of Leeds and during her time here she will be delivering a number of important lectures and public talks, including this event at Tate Modern on the 26th April. I’m therefore delighted that she will be joining us in Oxford for what promises to be an exciting opportunity to learn more about Hong Kong’s largest museum of 20th and 21st century art and design, architecture and moving image. Details of the lecture are below, all welcome.

 

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 In the Mood for a Museum: Art and Collecting at M+, Hong Kong

Old Masters’ Studio, Ruskin School of Art

Thursday, 27th April, 2pm

Pauline J. Yao is Leverhulme Visiting Professor at the University of Leeds and Lead Curator, Visual Art at M+, the new museum for twentieth and twenty-first century visual culture being built in Hong Kong. She has held curatorial positions at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and worked as an independent curator and writer in Beijing for six years, during which time she helped co-found the storefront art space Arrow Factory. A co-curator of the 2009 Shenzhen Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, Yao is a regular contributor to Artforum, e-flux Journal, and Yishu Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art and her writings on contemporary Asian art have appeared in numerous catalogues, online publications and edited volumes. She is the author of In Production Mode: Contemporary Art in China (Timezone 8 Books, 2008) and co-editor of 3 Years: Arrow Factory (Sternberg Press, 2011).

A Beautiful Disorder: CASS Sculpture Foundation’s major exhibition of art from contemporary China, Hong Kong and Taiwan

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Cui Jie 崔洁, ‘Pigeon’s House’《鸽子的房子》(2016), Stainless Steel 不锈钢, 4.5 x 2.6 x 2.45m

 

This weekend I travelled to the South Coast (near Chichester) for the opening of CASS Sculpture Foundation’s latest exhibition 无序之美 A Beautiful Disorder. The exhibition features the work of eighteen artists from Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan including: Bi Rongrong 毕蓉蓉, Cao Dan  曹丹, Cao Fei  曹斐, Cheng Ran 程然, Cui Jie 崔洁, Jennifer Wen Ma   马文, Li Jinghu 李景湖, Lu Pingyuan 陆平原, Rania Ho   何颖宜, Song Ta 宋拓, Tu Wei-Cheng 涂维政, Wang Sishun王思顺, Wang Wei王卫, Wang Yuyang 王郁洋 Xu Zhen (Produced by MadeIn Company) 徐震(没顶公司出品), Zhang Ruyi 张如怡, Zhao Yao 赵要 and Zheng Bo 郑波 and is the largest (and arguably first) showcase of outdoor contemporary sculpture by these artists to be held in the UK.

The exhibition takes its name from a letter penned by the French missionary and Qing court painter Jean-Denis Attiret in 1743. Writing to a friend in Paris, Attiret described details of the garden and architecture of the ‘Garden of Perfection and Light’ 圆明园 in the Old Summer Palace in Beijing. Praising the garden for its unpredictability, diversity and adherence to naturalism, Attiret wrote: “[the Chinese] rather chose a beautiful disorder, and a wandering as far as possible from all the rules of art. They go entirely on this principle, that what they are to represent there, is a natural and wild view of the country; a rural retirement, and not a palace formed according to all the rules of art.”

Attiret’s ideas were to have a profound impact on English landscape aesthetics, particularly the naturalistic, free-flowing forms that have characterised English garden culture from the 18th century onwards. Ushering in what was then considered a stylistic revolution,  famous figures such as the architect Sir William Chambers, designer of Somerset House (home of the Courtauld Institute of Art) and the famous Chinese Pagoda at Kew Gardens were similarly keen to adopt the Chinese garden’s ability to provoke ‘violent or opposing sensations’ through a series of theatrical framing devices that allowed the viewer to look out onto a wider panorama.  Taking the historical relationship between Chinese and English landscape aesthetics as a point of departure, the exhibition curators Wenny Teo, Ella Liao and Claire Shea therefore conceived of the exhibition as a series of unexpected scenes and sensory experiences situated throughout the grounds of the foundation. As viewers navigate their way around the woodland typography of tree-lined pathways, sheltered groves and pastoral vistas, gradually encountering the works on display, they are invited to reflect on ‘China’s past, present and future relationship with the world at large.’ Continue reading

A Wall: art and the online public sphere in China

'A Wall' is a web-based platform curated by Zheng Bo for The Space.

‘A Wall’ is a web-based platform curated by Zheng Bo for The Space.

On the 30th January I attended the launch of A Wall, a web based platform which aims to exhibit and archive a selection of socially engaged art produced within mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan over the last twenty years. The project is curated by Zheng Bo 郑波, a practicing artist and assistant professor at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong, and will be hosted by The Space, an online gallery for contemporary digital arts.

Artworks featured in A Wall include:

Keepers of the Waters, organised by Betsy Damon, with works by Yin Xiuzhen, Dai Guangyu and others, Sichuan and Tibet, 1995-96

Moving Rainbow, Xiong Wenyun, Sichuan-Tibet and Qinghai-Tibet Highways, 1998-2001

Everyone’s East Lake, Li Juchuan, Li Yu and others, Wuhan, 2010

Breakfast at the Plum Tree Creek, Wu Mali, Taiwan, 2010-11

Style of the Northeastern New Territories, Tai Ngai Lung and others, Hong Kong, since 2009

Two Square Metres, Xu Tan, Guangzhou, 2014

Xiong Wenyun, Moving Rainbow, Sichuan-Tibet and Qinghai-Tibet Highways, 1998-2001

Xiong Wenyun, Moving Rainbow, Sichuan-Tibet and Qinghai-Tibet Highways, 1998-2001

As the press release states: “The issues explored in A Wall are diverse. Each project is an individual investigation into one aspect of China’s social fabric,  from Li Juchuan’s consideration of the rise of the individual and decline of the collective subconscious, to Xiong Wenyun, Wu Mali and Tai Ngai Lung’s investigations into the impact of globalisation, over-development and urbanisation.” Continue reading