Art in the Time of Consumerism

Art in the Time of Consumerism
#Art

The collective exhibition Society Guidance aims at looking at the expressive paths and study undertaken by Chinese artist at the start of the ‘90s. The exhibition is an invitation to reflect on a precise moment in history, when, at the dawn of a new Chinese society, fruit of the reforms of the end of the ‘80s, citizens felt a strong desire for a renewed set of social values. Protagonists of the exhibition are three artists that left an indelible mark on Chinese art during that period. Chen Shaoxiong was educated at the Academy of Belle Arti in Guangzhou. Chen’s art embraces a wide range of artistic means, including photography, video art, installations and traditional ink works, methods with which to explore an urban landscape in continuous evolution in contemporary China. His work was part fo the celebrated collective Art and China after 1989: Theatre of the World organised by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 2017, guaranteeing him a place on the Olympus of contemporary art. In 1990, Ren Jian and his New History Group declared that contemporary art had been transformed into a product to be consumed. Their famous slogan “No Art, just Product” or “Art as Fast Food, Ready to Serve People” went down in history as a first artistic pronouncement against the consumerism with which China was coming face to face. The third author in this exhibition is Wang Jing. Originally from the province of Shanxi, he dedicated his studies and early artistic efforts to traditional Chinese painting, offering his knowledge to the Beijing Institute of Clothing. Frustrated with channeling his creativity through an institution, Wang left his job and began creating experimental works as an independent artist. His famous Knocking at the Door from 1995 in which he painted American dollars on some old bricks of the Forbidden City, brought him critical acclaim internationally. The works on display act as indicators of the passage of time and the changes which occurred within modern Chinese society, expressive phases over time, capable of establishing connections with the past, present and the future which should not be ignored today.

Giorgia Cestaro - © 2019 ARTE.it for Bulgari Hotel Beijing