Following its successful inauguration last year and serving as the highlight and signature event of China Cultural Centre’s 2017 calendar, Chinese Contemporary Art Month, brings two main exhibitions, four featured forums and a plethora of associated events this year.
As a collaboration among China Cultural Centre (Sydney), Sdyney College of the Arts (SCA) and Art Nova 100, Chinese Contemporary Art Month was opened on 30th March at SCA Galleries.
“Through this kind of cooperation, we know each other much better and we trust each other. I believe we could deepen our exchanges and cooperation in the future.”, said Mrs. Zhao Li, Director of the China Cultural Centre (Sydney).
With an aim of presenting a panoramic picture of Chinese contemporary art through an interdisciplinary lens, this event also facilitates constructive communication and exchange of ideas between Chinese and Australian contemporary artists, collectors, curators and creative industry professionals at large.
“I’m sure, this exhibition and many other events in the Art Month will provide Australian friends with opportunities to better understand Chinese art, culture and people”, said Mr. Zhang Yingbao, Cultural Counselor, Consulate-General of China in Sydney.
“Centripetal Force – Four Dimensions of Chinese Contemporary Artists”, one of the two main exhibitions, features 14 artists and artistic group, exhibits the new attempts and breakthroughs made by Chinese emerging artists in the face of the changes within social and art environment in China.
The concurrent shift of artist mentality of the Chinese emerging artists is shown through a transformation from the grand social narratives to the artists’ inner world, and manifested by the form, medium and underlying concepts of their artworks.
“Centripetal Force: Four Dimensions of Chinese Contemporary Art showcases the work of fourteen Chinese emerging artists who are committed to challenging the forms, media and concepts of art making; their interest in interpreting Chinese society, politics, economy and culture through a contemporary lens reflects the critical thinking and awareness of current art strategies that we strive to embed in the emerging artists who train at SCA”, said Professor Margaret Harris, Dean of Sydney College of the Arts.
“These artworks are visual interpretations of contemporary Chinese society, politics, economy and culture, they also serve as visual portraits of the contemporary Chinese social ecosphere; We hope this exhibition may prove instrumental in tracing an outline of Chinese emerging artists”, said Jerry Song, curator of “Centripetal Force – Four Dimensions of Chinese Contemporary Artists”.
Inspired by themes explored in the Thomas L. Friedman bestseller The World is Flat (2005), “The World Is Not Flat – Chinese Contemporary Video Art”, featuring 15 artists, covers a wide variety of concepts including poetry expression, virtual creativity, idealism and speculative realism, and aims to break prejudiced ideas of the world through visually reconstructing the space and environment we live in.
“The works in this exhibition are each representational of their time and their land, and provide the viewer with an insight into Chinese contemporary art. The diversity of these works expresses a glimpse of hope, even despite the concern these artists may have about the diminishing cultural diversity caused by globalisation”, said Chen Lin, co-curator of the exhibition.
“Chinese contemporary art is experiencing dramatic change in recent years, many artists have made new attempts and remarkable breakthroughs in the aspects of traditional culture, science and environment, we’re aiming to present these changes and new tendencies from Chinese emerging artists through such exhibitions”, Professor Zhao noted.
As part of the Chinese Contemporary Art Month, four forums will also be co-hosted by China Cultural Centre (Sydney) and SCA on 31st March and 1st April. The topics of the forums will include: “Policy and Practice on the Promotion of and Exchange between Emerging Artists”, “Status and Career Planning of Emerging Artists in China and Australia”, “Art Collection and Market for Emerging Artists in China and Australia”, “Video Art: From Creation to Exhibition”.
The Forums will engage non-profit art institutions, scholars and curators and artists to discuss and share opinions, and contribute to the enhancement of cultural exchange and mutual understanding between Chinese and Australian cultrual sphere.
This year’s Chinese Contemporary Art Month will last from 31st March to 29th April, during which ten associated exhibitions and event will be included and held in local galleries such as, Art Atrium, Nanda/Hobbs Contemporary, Harvey Galleries, Janet Clayton Gallery, 541 Art Space, etc.
The enrichment and the multi-facetedness of this anual program provide Australian audience an up-to-date picture of Chinese contemporary art; it is also an invaluable opportunity for Chinese artists to learn the similarities and distinctions between the two cultures. And it is precisely this gradually deepened mutual understanding and appreciation towards one another that continuously contribute to a fourishing rapport and intercultural communication between China and Australia.