Reframing Tradition in Chinese Contemporary Art
30 x 25 cm | 10 x 8 in
120 ills | 160 pages
Authors Diana Freundl, Carol Yinghua Lu
Contributors Zheng Shengtian, Thomas Berghuis
Unscrolled documents and expands on the critical role of tradition in Chinese contemporary art, illustrated by images and new essays from both Chinese and Western perspectives.
The book elaborates on the reasons why artists return to tradition as inspiration, including anxieties around national identity in a globalizing art world, providing an opportunity to reflect on how cultural traditions have shaped earlier generations of Chinese contemporary artists, as well as the liberties that emerging artists now claim to transform and integrate in their own practices.
Featuring Chinese contemporary artists who use digital animation, installation and other progressive mediums, Unscrolled demonstrates how tradition can be transformed by individual experiences, contemporary challenges and present-day concerns. Interviews with distinguished scholars and curators, including Wu Hung and Hou Hanru, address China’s cultural patrimony as a source of contemporary artistic practice throughout the early 1980s and 1990s, while focussing more explicitly on the present as it relates to tradition and redressing historical veracity. Illustrations of artworks that undertake literal representations of tradition, as well as those that are less evidently but equally influenced by Chinese cultural heritage, expose the continuous transformation of culture and the ways in which artists are redefining Chinese contemporary art.
Chinese contemporary artists’ engagement with tradition provides us with a myriad of means to understand and re-examine its relevance in present-day visual culture.
In partnership with the Vancouver Art Gallery.