press release

Crisscrossing East and West. The Remaking of Ink Art in Contemporary East Asia
June 18–August 20, 2017 Museum of Contemporary Art Yinchuan

Titled Crisscrossing East and West: The Remaking of Ink Art in Contemporary East Asia, this exhibition at the MOCA Yinchuan on June 18, 2017 is intended to focus on the development of ink culture in East Asia. In total, 27 artists with over 120 works from China and other countries and regions of east Asia are invited to participate.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, ink culture, heavily impacted by Western currents, has long ceased to be the main stream in the history of art. Differential in their historical situations and cultural evolution, East Asian countries have come up with mutually varying attitudes towards capitalism, technology, and modernization brought by the West. Routing to the same destiny, the longstanding traditions of East Asian ink culture fell into decline.

A glance at the history of Chinese art shows us that it was normal for historical changes to cause artists to move around from place to place. As the conditions of their survival and their material environments change, artists naturally respond to the times. This is reflected in each of their works, either directly or ambiguously.

Thinking in terms of “remaking,” the curator has decided not to limit himself by inviting artists who employ ink, rice paper and silk scrolls only. Rather, it is equally crucial how the artists deal with the problematics of ink art. Through the use of heterogeneous materials, concepts, and formal techniques, how do the artists achieve conceptual transformation creatively? Besides denoting interchange between Eastern and Western cultures, Crisscrossing East and West as the theme of the exhibition also calls for broader visions and insights to widen the realm of ink art.

With the opening of this exhibition, curator Chia Chi Jason Wang and the artists Wang Tiande and Ren Jian will carry out ink art exhibitions and give a series of lectures at various institutions of higher education. They will also launch the “Ink in Motion” public education workshop on water rubbing paintings. This workshop provides audience with opportunities beyond the exhibitions, providing them with a hands-on painting experience via the relatively concise art of ink wash; while enjoying themselves, audiences will experience ink art and the unique charms of this traditional art. By starting with traditional ink art, this workshop will provide audiences with an explanation of the transformation of the art form from traditional to contemporary times. In addition, the museum’s “Handmade Craftsmanship” series of public education activities will also be taking place, allowing enthusiasts of weaving, ceramics, and woodcuts to experience the tranquility of these art forms firsthand.

Curator: Chia Chi Jason Wang
Born in 1961, Chia Chi Jason Wang lives and works in Taiwan as a curator and art critic. He was the curator of the Taiwan Biennial 2008, the Taiwan Pavilion at the 51st Venice Biennale in 2005, and the 9th Venice International Architecture Biennale in 2004. He also worked as co-curator of the 2002 Taipei Biennial Great Theatre of the World. His other recent positions included Curator of Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei (2001), and Executive Director of the Dimension Endowment of Art (2001-1002).