“Post-sense Sensibility” refers to a Chinese local experimental art practice started by the “Alien and Delusion” exhibition which was curated by Qiu Zhijie and Wu Meicun in 1999, and it has lasted for more than 10 years. In the late 1990s, a group of young artists formed a group that was not satisfied with the popular taste of the art circles at that time, opposing the domination of conceptual art, refusing the boundaries of the materials and ideas, emphasizing the sensibility of the scene, while broadening the artistic creation and the boundaries of practice. They continued to think and create for more than 10 years, and many people are still active in the first line of contemporary art creation, becoming the backbone of contemporary Chinese art.
Retrospective: Three Periods of “Post-sense Sensibility”
Qiu Zhijie is one of the promoters and a witness of the “Post-sense Sensibility”, and he said that “Post-sense Sensibility” could be summed up simply as a work of “exhausting theory” due to the method. “When the theory is poor, we are forced to find inspiration and openness. It is like when we walk backwards, our pores are open to perceive the entire scene and walking backwards, we can detect whether the land behind is reliable.”
Qiu Zhijie separates “Post-sense Sensibility” into three periods. The first period is from 1999 to 2001, when the artists of “Post-sense Sensibility” used a variety of extreme materials to stimulate the scene, negating the boring, normal conceptual art, creating a strong sense of presence; after 2001, the artists of “Post-sense Sensibility” have reflected that the situation is that “contemporary art is becoming a competition system”. Qiu Zhijie and Liu Wei planned the “Long March” project, along with the “Long March Project” which reached a conclusion, then the participants would be tattooed with the corresponding image. There, the performance pushed the Chinese body art to an “height combined with the history.” The artists of “Post-sense Sensibility” have done a great deal of experiments to fight against a display system, therefore, they learned from the experience of the theater and turned the exhibition itself into an experimental site; the third stage was after 2005. Along with the gallery in the 798 which was increasingly mature, more and more artists began to hold solo exhibitions, the “Post-sense Sensibility” as a group seemed to have stagnated to some extent. “But I find that we have been deeply involved in the historical scene from different angles,” Qiu Zhijie mentioned the practices of several artists, “We see that Liu Wei’s ‘A Dog Bites Gum’ is one of the first selection of authoritative architecture of ‘Post-sense Sensibility’; I walked in the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge, starting from concerning the body to concerning life; I get this apple in my hand now, which is brought by Li Baoyuan, and as the project developed by him in Shijiezi village, Gansu, and the exhibition presents the work by them who are in cooperation with Qin Ga.” In Qiu Zhijie’s view, although the artists of “Post-sense Sensibility” do not have a fixed organization or regular meetings, they invariably go from different angles to enter the entire body of Chinese society, engaging in the work with an historical sense.
2016 “Post-sense Sensibility: Fear and Will”: It is Not a Retrospective
On the afternoon of November 5, 2016, the exhibition “Post-sense Sensibility: Fear and Will” was unveiled at the Beijing Minsheng Art Museum. The exhibition is co-organized by China Minsheng Bank, Beijing Minsheng Art Museum, and Ming Contemporary Art Museum. Qiu Zhijie serves as the curator of the exhibition, to present 31 works by 30 artists, including 21 artists who personally experienced all the exhibitions, as well as 9 young artists.
Curated by Qiu Zhijie, 2016 “Post-sense Sensibility: Fear and Will” is divided into two parts including works and literature. In addition to the presentation of the works of artists of “Post-sense Sensibility”, there is also detailed information on the development of “Post-sense Sensibility”, such as the portfolios, drafts, photos, and even the letters requesting an exchange in those days, etc., trying to offer a more complete form to the viewer while also getting a glimpse of the great enthusiasm and thinking of these artists. Although it seems that there are some old works, it contains the restoration of old works, and the finished programs which failed previously, as well as the new works of the artists.
In addition, Qiu Zhijie said that, “It is not a retrospective” – the exhibition also invites active young artists who have similar artistic thinking on “Post-sense Sensibility” with creative ideas and actions to participate in the exhibition, in order to present an open and constantly defined “Post-sense Sensibility”. Qiu Zhijie said that, “We have seen the expected experimental spirit in the young artists, and I want to particularly thank them for their participation in this exhibition, which is a reference to the work and ultimately avoids this exhibition becoming a review and really achieves a forward thinking exhibition.”
Therefore, it can be considered as a new and progressive exhibition of “Post-sense Sensibility’, a new exhibition of post-sense sensibility – 2016 “Fear and Will” in the last 11 years, following the 1999 “Post-sense Sensibility”, 2001 “Carnival”, 2003 “Insider”, 2004 “Disturbed”, 2005 “Tips and Tricks”.
17 Years Later, What is the Significance to Mentioning the “Post-sense Sensibility”?
Qiu Zhijie addressed the opening ceremony and said that, “Speaking from a spiritual perspective, we would like to consider ‘Post-sense Sensibility’ as an experimental spirit. I believe that we all gathered to conceive an exhibition after more than a decade, because we all have a similar attitude as experimenters. It is a truth that the majority of the artists involved in the ‘Post-sense Sensibility’ in those days have never fallen, refuse to be involved in corruption and so far have avoided to talk about houses or cars.”
For the group of artists participating in the exhibition “Post-sense Sensibility: Alien and Delusion” in that year, Qiu Zhijie said that, “It is variable in the career of creation, most people are still recklessly searching for a way out, obviously they have not fallen to prematurely conduct a self-historical log. We are still friends, but the road of art has been separated again and again, but friendship is not the only reason for us to sit together to talk about the exhibition.” Then, why should there be such an exhibition with an interval of more than 10 years? Why does post-sensual intuition lead us to talk about fear and will?
17 years ago, many of the artists who participated in “Post-sense Sensibility” were far more poor, naive and knowledge-hungry than most of today’s young people. They were frivolous, straightforward and romantic, but of a strong will, longing for changes and believing in changes without hesitation. 17 years later, the “Post-sense Sensibility” as the “Post-sense Sensibility as the method” is replaced by the “Post-sense Sensibility as the will”, and it tries to awaken your existential situation, re-endowing the right and seizing the will. In Qiu Zhijie’s view, his expected “Post-sense Sensibility” is a continuously open and constantly defined vocabulary: “Post-sense Sensibility continuously withdraws from the identity and type, continues to plan and launch the de-familiarization of the self and experiences again. Post-sense Sensibility is a mirroring stage that has never been finished and puberty is infinitely extended to a lifetime.”
Text by Lin Jiabin, translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO
Photo by Lin Jiabin & Beijing Minsheng Art Museum
About the Exhibition
Exhibition Title: “Post-sense Sensibility: Fear and Will”
Organizers: China Minsheng Bank, Beijing Minsheng Art Museum, Ming Contemporary Art Museum
Chief Planner: Zhou Xujun
Curators: Qiu Zhijie, Guo Xiaoyan
Assistant Curators: Zhang Si, Liu Jie, Yang Qing
Opening Ceremony: 5 November, 2016 (Saturday) 16:00
Duration: November 5 – December 11, 2016
Exhibition Location: F2, Beijing Minsheng Art Museum
Artists: Chen Wenbo, Chen Xiaoyun, Gao Shiqiang, Jiang Zhi, Li Zhenhua, Liu Wei, Lu Lei, Qin Ga, Qiu Zhijie, Shi Qing, Sun Yuan + Peng Yu, Wang Wei, Wang Yuyang, Wu Ershan, Yang Fudong, Yu Ji, Zhang Hui, Zheng Guogu, Zhu Yu
Young Artists: Feng Lin, Li Ming, Lu Yang, Ma Qiusha, Pei Enen, Zhang Yue, Zhang Yunfeng + Li Haiguang, Zhao Zhao