Exhibition “China Now Now” – Chen Zhiguang, Jia Qiong, Jiao Xingtao, Huang Hairong, Li Jikai, Li Lihong, Luo Jie, Peng Rong, Wu Jianjun

Artists: Chen Zhiguang 陈志光, Jia Qiong 贾穹, Jiao Xingtao 焦兴涛, Huang Hairong 黄海蓉, Li Jikai 李继开, Li Lihong 李立宏, Luo Jie 罗杰, Peng Rong 彭嵘, Wu Jianjun 吴建军

China Now Now: Reckoning with a new generation
Curated by: Selena Yang and Martijn Kielstra
Exhibition Period: 1 December 2007 to 5 January 2008
Venue: Canvas International Art
Address: Fokkerlaan 46, 1185JC Amstelveen

Supported by: Oooit Art

The collective memory and individual memory,
The freedom of the soul and the chains of the convention,
Dreams and reality,
Innovation and destruction,
Symbol and truth,
Silence and turmoil,
Evasion and confrontation,

In between those gaps emerged a newly – grown nucleus in art – a young generation of Chinese artists with the ages ranging from 30 to 40. A rapid transformation is taking place in China economically, culturally and socially. In this fast velocity, you would see different pictures in China even if you press the shutter 10 times within one second. We decided to focus on this group of up-start artists for the reason that they are the noticeable emerging force in the stage of contemporary Chinese art. The art waves prevailed in the 70’s and 80’s such as “Scar art” and “Stream of life” didn’t exert any significant influence on those artists for they were in their early childhood. And the “85 ideological trend” and the art villages in Yuan Ming Yuan (Garden of Perfection and Brightness) didn’t iron the brand mark in their life of art either. Their collective memory, however, was not from the poverty-stricken time, but from the carefree teens when they gathered in the school playground and sang revolutionary songs with the young pioneers’ red scarves around their necks; when they could happily wear the white shirt, blue pants and clean white sneakers during festivals. They pursue the freestyle creative art, and would comb the recollection in the process of creating and artwork. They love to recognize the fresh things born in this fast-developing age and to understand the ever-changing society with their own interpretation. What’s more, they hope to find themselves in their creating which enabled their works to exhibit very distinct styles and a more touching, intimate strength to the soul.

They are the beloved of art for what embraces them is a time for free thinkers, innovators and dreamers; yet also a time full of hustle and bustle, signifies, a time lacks of honesty and abundant with material wealth. Living in the Chinese society today, their peers have to retrospect and introspect objectively and maturely like the seniors while they are also obliged to keep up the pace with the development of the society like the youth. What’s more, in the prime of their life, this generation, who serves as the social pillars of the state and the propeller for the developing progress, is encountered with an overwhelming challenge in the seeking, insisting and transcending of themselves. Thus, to appreciate their works naturally becomes an expedition to the artists’ heart in which you can find the keen feedbacks to the changing world, the growing pains, and the beautiful, ugly, real, disillusioned memories.

Martijn and I have been preparing for this exhibition for almost a year during which we went all over China, paying visits to the artists, museums and famous art institutions. Much was learned and gained through the communication with the experts in the field of art. And in December 2007, we can finally present this focusing picture of Chinese art to the European audience in the Canvas’ space in the Netherlands.

“The focusing picture on the young artists – Reckoning with a new generation” – By curator Selena Yang