14 Installation view of Jiang Ji'an’s work

On the afternoon of September 5, 2014, “The Virtual and the Real” initial show of “Chinese Contemporary Youth Ink Yearbook Exhibition” opened at SZ Art Center in Beijing 798 Art Zone. The exhibition is hosted by Chinese Modern Contemporary Art Document (CCAD), and the curatorial team consists of Professor Zhao Li from CAFA, Director of Chinese Modern Contemporary Art Document (CCAD), curator Chen Lin from Chinese Modern Contemporary Art Document (CCAD), and Art Nova 100 planning director Song Jirui.

Qin Changgui, Secretary- General of Beijing Cultural Development Foundation, curators Zhao Li, Chen Lin, and Song Jirui, as well as the 8 young artists including Hao Shiming, Jiang Ji’an, Ma Lingli, Qin Ai, Qin Xiuping, Wu Shaoying, Xu Jiacun, Yu Jidong were present at the opening ceremony. At the opening ceremony, curator Zhao Li said, youth ink had become the focus of contemporary art over the years, one of the reasons was that the creation, direction and artistic thinking of the young Chinese contemporary ink painters has reached a certain stage, Chinese ink painting has entered a contemporary creative field. It is an important environment for us to study contemporary ink art, while we face a challenge in how to support and promote it in an academic way. In the face of domestic “hot ink” trend, it was also very important for the artists to adhere to an academic training in such an environment.

Chinese Modern Contemporary Art Document (CCAD), as an academic institution with continued commitment to modern and contemporary art literature and an exchange and promotion of contemporary youth art, launches the research project of “Chinese Contemporary Youth Ink Yearbook”, which has an overall care for youth ink art with a modern and international vision. “Chinese Contemporary Youth Ink Yearbook” project consists of two major parts, namely, a book series publication and a series exhibition. Chinese Contemporary Youth Ink Yearbook book series are being co-published by People’s Fine Arts Publishing House and Chinese Modern Contemporary Art Document (CCAD), inviting well-known domestic experts as academic advisors. Chinese Contemporary Youth Ink Yearbook upholds the principle of combining comprehensiveness and representation in choosing artists, and presents a rich and varied landscape of current young artists’ creations, trying to faithfully and objectively record outstanding young artists’ creations in the field of contemporary ink painting. At the same time, the form of “Yearbook” ensures an update in the annual cycle, enabling the content of a series book to timely reflect the new situation of youth ink painting creations. As a part of the research project, the exhibition invites artists included in the Chinese Contemporary Youth Ink Yearbook to include new creations. They not only make their own creative breakthroughs and rethinking, but also focus on the breakthrough of the status of ink painting. The exhibition is more like a test field for creation, which emphasises the experimental spirit of youth ink art and at the same time provides strong evidence of a contemporary visual culture for the public.

The initial exhibition of “Chinese Contemporary Youth Ink Yearbook Exhibition” is divided into three themes, the curatorial team separates the artists into three groups according to the issues that the artists are concerned about. The first round of the exhibition themed on “The Virtual and the Real”, and features 20 works of ink painting by 8 artists: Hao Shiming, Jiang Jian, Ma Lingli, Qin Ai, Qin Xiuping, Wu Shaoying, Xu Jiacun, Yu Jidong.

The exhibition is not only on-site presented in a two-dimensional form with the application of new media technology and the use of mixed media but also makes the form of representation richer and changing. Artist Yu Jidong brings his ink work “Looking Up”, cleverly using rice paper and the painting language of ink, carefully pursuing the rich changes of the material, while his work in installation “Trace in the Mirror, Silence, End” also makes use of rice paper to create the form of the “Rockery”, echoing the two-dimensional work, so that its presentation is complete; Born in Macau, woman artist Wu Shaoying’s interactive installation also allows people to find everything new and fresh, and attracts many spectators. Using a special configuration of APP, through a camera to present the two-dimensional work “Birth” which hangs on the wall, the screen, seemed to be endowed with life, generally flowing, it perfectly combines the new media art and ink painting work, to create a more novel painting language, and the audience also gradually taste the charm and fun of art in the experience; Artist Jiang Ji’an’s installations “Boiling East Wind in a Tea Pot at Night” and “Usage of the Daily Time” become a special representation of the ground floor exhibition hall. A large white space gradually unfolds, featuring classic furniture of a strong Chinese style, on which he places the tools that have been used to produce pigments, so that it seems that one is able to smell a faint fragrance of ink in such a quiet, pure environment. The 8 artists embody a strong sense of speculation as reflected in the creative concept of the young artists who receive a systematic training in the modern art institute, taking “the virtual and the real” as the focus for the position, to express the multiple possibilities of ink painting creation, the pursuit of harmony and unification between the eastern implication and contemporary concepts.

The exhibition continues to September 14. While the 2nd, 3rd rounds of the Beijing initial exhibition of “Chinese Contemporary Youth Ink Yearbook Exhibition” will be unveiled in October and November.

Text and photo by Lin Jiabin, translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO.

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