artists & participants
As an art center where Chinese contemporary creativity meets the world, UCCA inaugurates a new series of shows, starting on April 18 with exuberant Thai artist Navin Rawanchaikul: Super China!. The exhibition brings together new and recent sculptures, installation, paintings and works on paper to reveal the artist's vision of the Chinese contemporary art scene. The show's centerpiece is the SUPER CHINA! game (2009), interactive board game where visitors can compete to win in the high-stakes field of contemporary art. The game is complimented by SUPER CHINA! (2009), a large-scale painting that humorously portrays the icons and superstars of Chinese art in a sprawling scene painted in the style of a Bollywood movie poster. "The universe that Navin has constructed, though fanciful at first glance, is one we all share," remarks UCCA Curator David Spalding. "In fact, it is this possibility of sharing and collaborating—of engaging with and listening to one another, of looking and laughing at ourselves—that underscores all of the works in the exhibition."
At the same time, UCCA's Curated by series has a new exhibition with leading artist Qiu Zhijie curating Ding Ding & Ye Nan: Immunity. The show includes paintings and multi-media installations, and presents the philosophical views of two Chinese artists in their twenties on their immediate art environment. Qiu Zhijie, well known for his multi-dimensional practice explains: "In China, contemporary art has already gone past its experimental phase; what has now become characteristic among new generations of artists is this anxiety to gain influence through their art. Ye Nan and Ding Ding both face this issue in a singular and courageous way."
"Two exhibitions rather than one is a fantastic idea from Qiu Zhijie, reflecting both his generosity and our engagement as an institution with the emergence of a new generation in this period of crisis," says Jerome Sans, UCCA Director.
Curated by is UCCA's branded initiative to support the next generation of Chinese artists. Intending to give emerging artists their first opportunity for a solo show in an institution, Curated by trusts the judgment of established artists by asking them to display who they believe will be contemporary Chinese art's next talents. Other leading artists participating in the Curated by series at UCCA in 2009 include Liu Xiaodong and Yang Fudong.
Shen Yuan: Hurried Words opens at UCCA on May 16th. The show, created as a cross-cultural dialogue, presents a poetic installation displaying two important recent works. In Hurried Words, an enormous hairbrush whose bristles tangle with synthetic hair made of Asian, African, and Western hair style, is presented in dialogue with more than eighty hair driers, each with its own cloth "tongue" that extends as if in speech but muted by the sound of the devices. These two works, both connected with hair and related daily objects, open new forms of conversations between cultures, a central feature of the art of Shen Yuan, who migrated to France about 20 years ago.
"The idea of including hair as a key element of my work comes from everyday life: when we comb our hair, some of it stays on the comb, resembling heads, mini hairstyles or growing plants, " said Shen Yuan. The artist imagines them as a gathering crowd or forest.
"Hurried Words is named as such because they always seem to be not apprehensible, and are unable to catch others' attention. The hair dryer sends out a deafening noise. Here Shen Yuan intends to show how language loses itself in the work; she invites the audience to experience Hurried Words after deviating topics and changing meanings," says Guo Xioayan, UCCA Chief Curator and exhibition curator.
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Navin Rawanchaikul: Super China!
April 18-June 12, 2009
Ye Nan and Ding Ding: Immunity
April 18-June 21, 2009
Shen Yuan: Hurried Words
May 16-July 18, 2009