Transfer station, Yin Xiuzhen, Installation, 600 x 800 cm, 2010

Transfer station, Yin Xiuzhen, Installation, 600 x 800 cm, 2010

Where is China? is a twin exhibition opening in Beijing on the 16 of May and in Lisbon on the 29 of May. It brings together 28 artists from China and Portugal and is the biggest art show with these characteristics to date. Where is China? celebrates 35 years of diplomatic relationship between China and Portugal and the opening ceremony in Beijing was inaugurated by the President of Portugal, Professor Aníbal Cavaco Silva.

Where is China? talks about the cultural reality and contemporary global sense of geography, pointing that this is in no sense stable or predictable. The idiosyncratic nature of China produces different artistic vocabularies. These ways of expression do overlap to some extent in terms of subject matters and imaginary worlds with the art of the west. There are mutual contexts and there are ‘close encounters’. It is precisely in this framework that a group of Chinese and Portuguese artists propose a reflection, resulting in the creation/presentation of works in video, painting, photography, sculpture and installation.

Where is China? establishes a high note on the importance of art as a mean to create dialogues and interactions between different cultures. This ‘close encounters’, between the works of China and Portugal contemporary artists, provides a variety of expressions in a unique blend and it shows how contemporary art practices are not exclusive and can communicate with a vast audience.

Untitled, Rui Calçada Bastos, Photography, 4 pieces with 67 x 100 cm each, 2013

Untitled, Rui Calçada Bastos, Photography, 4 pieces with 67 x 100 cm each, 2013

Nǎlǐ Shì Zhōngguó, Luís Alegre, Installation. 4 monitors, 2014

Nǎlǐ Shì Zhōngguó, Luís Alegre, Installation. 4 monitors, 2014

Wall house, Xing Danwen, Installation. 180 x 400 x 240 cm, 2007

Wall house, Xing Danwen, Installation. 180 x 400 x 240 cm, 2007

About the exhibition

Duration: May 17 – June 4, 2014

Venue: Beijing World Art Museum – China Millennium Monument

Opening: May 16, 2014, Friday 19:00

Organization: China International Culture Association, Número – Arte e Cultura, XA – Xiǎng Art

Co-production: Beijing World Art Museum – China Millennium Monument, Macao Foundation, Fundação Oriente

Sponsors: EDP, CWE Investment

Institutional Support: President of the Portuguese Republic, Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China, Portuguese Secretary of State of Culture, Portuguese Embassy in China.

Support: Art For All Society, Força Motriz, Pallatium Fine Wines

Curators: José Drummond, Luís Alegre, Nuno Aníbal Figueiredo

Artists: Alice Kok, Ana Pérez-Quiroga, António Júlio Duarte, Bianca Lei, Carlos Lobo, Chen Shaoxiong, Cui Xiuwen, Fortes Pakeong Sequeira, James Chu, João Pedro Rodrigues / João Rui Guerra da Mata, José Drummond, José Maçãs de Carvalho, Liao Chi-Yu, Luís Alegre, Maria Condado, Miguel Palma, Paulo Mendes, Pedro Loureiro, Peng Yun, Rui Calçada Bastos, Song Dong, Teresa Carneiro

The painter, José Drummond, Video, 60', 2005

The painter, José Drummond, Video, 60′, 2005

000000000, Cui Xiuwen, Video, 5'18'', 2013

000000000, Cui Xiuwen, Video, 5’18”, 2013

Where is China?

This show is composed by two exhibitions mirroring each other in Beijing and Lisbon. The opening in Beijing celebrates 35 years of diplomatic relationship between China and Portugal. One week after the opening in Lisbon will reinforce the cultural relationship extending an exclusive possibility of having the same artists with almost the same works in the two countries capitals during the same period of time.

It is a double exhibition made possible by the involvement of both countries state affairs and the generous patronage of the companies and foundations involved on supporting the show. It brings together the work of some of the most important artists of the two countries together in a unique show hosted in Beijing by the Beijing World Art Museum and in Lisbon by the Museu do Oriente.

In the article entitled The New World System Joshua Clover makes a question that in its apparent simplicity inscribes, paradoxically, a vast group of concerns: ‘Where is China?’ The strangeness of this question, apparently obvious, occurs from the impossibility in being answered from a merely geographic a point of view. In other words the most predictable and established solution contradicts the cultural reality and contemporary geo-politics that is in no sense stable or predictable.

Also the current strategies of contemporary art point out, most of the times intuitively, to this question, and end up revealing a natural capacity on the possibilities of mapping the complex spatiality associated with the globalization. So, the question ‘Where is China?’ Becomes a revealing rhetorical device of a contradiction and a very difficult task to answer, if not impossible. ‘Where is China?’ will simultaneously be anywhere or nowhere?

The lack of distinction or differentiation may be the main problems of this issue that because of the natural specificity and uniqueness leads us to find the non-place and the generic. That is to say that we have a huge tangle of destinations and possibilities that by its recombination transports us to representative deep changes in society, politics, economy, culture and therefore in art as well. It is precisely in this context that we proposed to a group of Chinese and Portuguese artists a reflection, resulting in the creation/presentation of works in video, painting, photography and installation.

Courtesy of the artists and Art for All Society.

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