Pioneers of Liberty. An Exhibition Dedicated to the Stars Group

Pioneers of Liberty. An Exhibition Dedicated to the Stars Group
#Art

An important page in the history of the avant-garde lives again at the OCAT Institute. It is the end of the 1979s and the winds of freedom are blowing through the Chinese art scene. A group of young artists, mostly self-taught, ask to exhibit their work at the National Museum of Beijing. The refusal of the institution is absolute - the works are new, experimental, far from the socialist realism advocated by the regime. The exhibition, instead, takes place in a park next to the museum and, despite being shut down by authorities, remains a part of history - the First Stars Exhibition. Among those involved are Ai Weiwei, Huang Rui, Ma Dasheng, Li Shuang, the sculptor Wang Keping and painter Shao Fei, all part of the Stars Group until 1983. Forty years after the first exhibition, a sweeping project rebuilds, for the first time, the events and and behind-the-scenes happenings of one of the most important chapters of the Chinese avant-garde. In an in-depth itinerary, rife with revelations, featuring 150 rarely-seen documents - rare photos, videos, publications - a look at the climate of innovation, the search for individual expression, the counter-current ideas about culture and society which rocked the artistic establishment of the People’s Republic.
Francesca Grego - © 2020 ARTE.it for Bulgari Hotel Beijing