Liu Jianhua, Container, 2012; installation of porcelain sculptures; Courtesy of the Artist

Liu Jianhua, Container, 2012; installation of porcelain sculptures; Courtesy of the Artist

Tradition in Chinese contemporary art is transformed by individual experiences, contemporary challenges and present-day concerns. Unscrolled features three generations of Chinese artists who have been trained in both Western art history and Chinese tradition and who engage with their cultural past as a continuation into the contemporary. The exhibition moves from literal depictions of traditional culture to more ambiguous representations that are equally influenced by Chinese heritage. From new media forms such as digital animations to site-specific installations, it features work by artists Ai Weiwei, Chen Shaoxiong, Ji Yunfei, Liu Jianhua, Jennifer Wen Ma, MadeIn Company, Qiu Shihua, Sun Xun, Xu Bing and Zhang Enli. Defining tradition as an evolving concept, Unscrolled examines and questions its influence on visual culture in present-day China.

This exhibition presents a diverse selection of Chinese contemporary artists whose practices are informed by their cultural heritage. Re-working traditional aesthetics in conceptual ways, featured artists use new forms and media–such as digital animations and site–specific installations–to provide a myriad of means to understand and examine tradition’s influence on visual culture in present–day China.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated publication, co-published with Black Dog Publishing, that features new photography and essays by the curators, Dr. Thomas J. Berghuis and Zheng Shengtian.

Organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery and co-curated by Diana Freundl, Assistant Curator and Carol Lu, Beijing art critic.

About the exhibition

Duration: November 15, 2014 to April 6, 2015

Venue: Vancouver Art Gallery

Address: 750 Hornby Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6Z 2H7

Courtesy of the artists and Vancouver Art Gallery, for further information please visit

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