Landscape frequently appears in Chinese art history, which is imbued with traditions of landscape painting. In particular, the landscape in Chinese contemporary art has always stressed the typicality of traditional painting that’s been passed down throughout a long period of time, while advancing though experimenting with various contemporary expressive methodologies. The Chinese landscape has a different meaning to the young artists in China today who grew up witnessing the artists of the previous generation become international art stars through their power of cynicism. As opposed to the artists of the prior generation, the young artists today, mostly born in 1980s, don’t display a clear attitude towards landscape. The subject diversified and the situation became complex. The Chinese society, with its dynamic economic growth and direction towards globalism, shaped the young generation of artists and their complex, multi-dimensional attitude rather than a single, linear way of perceiving the world around them. They’re simultaneously excited about the new opportunities yielded in such perpetual growth, and disappointed by the entry barrier that’s already been formed and solidified. Dynamic and impregnable, the Chinese landscape today fills the young artists with illusions and expectations at times, and despair and disappointment at others.
Living the age of pluralism, the artists’ thoughts can’t be organized in an articulate manner, and tend to demonstrate a more or less complex aspect. Such psychological condition is appropriately reflected in the landscape they portray, which is a dualistic and indefinite subject that is neither a perfect imagination nor reality as it is. Landscape, imbued with psychological emotions, repeatedly traverses across the ambiguous fissure between reality and imaginary.
This special exhibition focuses on the landscape as a means to reflect the psychological conditions of young Chinese artists today. Mostly born in 1980s, and with established art practice, the participating artists’ depictions of the landscape are rendered through various genres including painting, ceramic, installation, photography and video, etc. The participating artists tend to be willing to engage with the multi-layered aspect of contemporary landscape, as opposed to turning away from it. They skillfully apply material and techniques most commonly used in Western art world, employing oil paint for paintings, and video and photography to capture reality. Nevertheless, the artists show traces of their concerns in thinking about the Chinese identity.
At a glimpse, the exhibited works all seem to be realistic representations. Upon closer inspection, however, one can read the psychological mindset of the artist, which is an expression of the artist’s fundamental outlook on his time, as well as a frank perspective of today’s young generation. This exhibition is greatly meaningful in the sense that observing the psychological landscape of the participating artists is related to reading the diverse yet similar sensibility of the young generation of people today living not only China’s reality but also in that of East Asia.
About the exhibition
Duration: 20 Sep – 21 Dec 2014
Venue: ARTMIA Gallery
Opening: 20 Sep 2014 Sat 16:00
Add: 261 Caochangdi Airport Service Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Courtesy of the artists and ARTMIA Gallery, for further information please visit http://artmia.net.