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Main pageNewsPinchukArtCentre presents “China China”, a major group exhibition

PinchukArtCentre presents “China China”, a major group exhibition

16 May 2013

On May 18, 2013 the PinchukArtCentre (Kyiv, Ukraine) will present “China China”, a major group exhibition including eleven Chinese artists of different generations, focusing on the tension between individuality and collective thinking - a subject, which not only defined Chinese history and continuously shapes contemporary society but equally gains importance in the West.

The exhibition includes the works of Ai Weiwei, Cao Fei, Chen Zhen, Sun Xun, Sun Yuan & Peng Yu, Xu Zhen, Yan Xing, Yang Fudong, Zhang Huan, Zhao Yao, Zhao Zhao.

With eleven artist-devoted spaces, PinchukArtCentre presents a detailed overview of the way in which this theme has been developed by different generations of contemporary Chinese artists. The exhibition, displaying about 30 complex art objects, includes iconic works from of among others, Ai Weiwei and Chen Zhen together with major new produced works of Sun Yuan & Peng Yu, Xu Zhen and Cao Fei.

China China is the exhibition about two different Chinas: about the present and the past, and about choices for the future. Exploring both the ongoing search for historical truth and the contemporary reality that is shifting from a local to a global context, the show highlights the different approaches taken by two generations of artists. Those who lived through the Cultural Revolution find their subject by researching the past while dealing with the present, and young Chinese artists engaging with an uprooted society and moving forwards into a new socio-cultural future. 

Eckhard Schneider, General Director of the PinchukArtCentre: “China China is a new, highly focused look at an art scene in which amazing developments have occurred over recent decades. Its earlier practice of adapting western styles of art is now history. Numerous individual positions have long been established, as much within the older as the younger generation, producing art that traces the history of their nation while being firmly located within the networks of the international art world, freely and independently employing current international art practices.”

For many artists the investigation of their own historically motivated identity appears to have been the key moment in the development of individual artistic strategies. It is a search for answers to the question of how, after the bizarre shock of the Cultural Revolution, a new balance can be achieved between the desire for more individuality and freedom and the dictate of conformism that a historically determined collective thinking still exerts. This critical conflict, particularly fruitful for artists, is also the result of the growing pressures on a society in transition, one increasingly forged by economic factors and a philosophy of consumerism.

As part of the framework of increasing globalization these pressures mean that China has also being overwhelmed by worldwide socio-cultural phenomena, such as environmental hazards, the desire for more individuality, the uprooting of rural populations and the accompanying growth of urbanization factors in the megalopolis. It is within this development, not typical only of China, that artists find their grand themes, as China China demonstrates in its impressive works.

The show will be open in the PinchukArtCentre (Kyiv, Ukraine) from May 18 till October 6, 2013. Admission is Free.