One hundred years ago, Chen Duxiu wrote the following foreword “Letter to Youths” for the “Youth Magazine”, to point out the difference in the “views of the youth” between China and the West. Then, Chen proposed 6 new standards: “Being autonomous rather than slavish; progressive rather than conservative; aggressive rather than inert; international rather than restricted by one’s own country; using utilitarian rather than virtual text; scientific rather than imagined.”

Along with the spread of Western values, Chinese social contemporary process and the emergence of globalization, modernity is sharply intensified. In this process, young art turned to a prominent phenomenon. In the period of “’85 New Wave”, it was through this group exhibition of youth art that they presented the state of young art. In the academic forum of Tianjin Ivy Art 2016, on September 3, 2016, the academic advisor Sheng Wei said that, “There was a very important exhibition entitled ‘Group Exhibition of Developing Chinese Youth’ in 1985, and this exhibition illustrated a relationship between the youth and developments, also approving the creativity of youth, that is to say from the 1980s, the youth was linked to innovation and creation, becoming a positive value to pursue.”

Today, what is the appearance of young art? The non-profit youth art project “Ivy Art” was founded in 2014, and it first proposed the theme “Release” for the year, aiming to encourage the development of young art as much as possible, exerting the most promising side of youth, to create “a different” young art.


Two Cities, Three Exhibition Venues, Three Collateral Art Exhibitions

“Ivy Art” 2016 continuously seeks innovation in creating exhibition modes and a rich and diverse exhibition mechanism, striving to break the restrictions of geography and the majority, to uncover the elite and masterpieces by young artists on a large scale. Based on this, Ivy Art returns to the birthplace of Tianjin, breaking the previous mode of a single exhibition for young artists in the past, to create the young art week with a global vision and professional outlook.

Ivy Art 2016 Tianjin Young Art Week sets exhibition venues both in Beijing and Tianjin, taking Tianjin Art Museum and Tianjin Miansan Creative Blocks as the central exhibition venues, to launch the “Chinese Young Artists Annual Exhibition”,“Young Curator Project”, “Young Creator Square”, as well as a series of academic public activities, while the two cities, three exhibition venues and three collateral art exhibitions connect the young contemporary artistic context of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, which are closely linked with each other, thus drawing a map to portray the young urban artistic and cultural features.

Young Artists Annual Exhibition, which takes “release” as the title, focuses on encouraging young artists to break free and challenge the existing paradigm of art, promoting artistic expression of individual characteristics and broadening the concept. Based on an academic reflection, the curatorial team divided the exhibition into several parts, presented by the “Thematic Show” and “Special Show” sections, which are subdivided into 6 parts including “World”, “Story”, “Theory”, “Language”, “Transposition”, “See Again”, creating the exhibition space and communication channels for the open artistic thinking of the artists and innovative applications of new media. The section “See Again” especially reflects the project’s continuous deep concerns and supports young artists, featuring the new works by the young artists who had a close cooperation with previous Ivy Art exhibitions, presenting their stable and changing creative development trends over the past three years.

Young Curator Project is a new project launched by Ivy Art 2016, in addition toYoung Artists Annual Exhibition. Following the “Social Reality Theater” the exhibition is curated by the young curator Wang Lin and was successfully held in Beijing Ullens Center for Contemporary Art on August 14, the other programs selected by “Young Curator Project”, include “The ‘Uncertainty’ is Certain –Double Logic of the Narrative and Non-Narrative” (Qi Tingjie), “A Day of Xiaoming – Contemporary Art from a Primary School Essay” (Song Zhenxi), New Learning of Table No.2 Joint Suspension (Wang Jiyu), “Intervention – Artist and Chinese Ingenuity” (Wang Jianming and Tan Zhibin) this opened simultaneously with Tianjin Miansan Creative Blocks on September 3. The new generation of curators and artists work together, bravely challenging the conventional curatorial mechanisms and methods, finding a new way to give the exhibition a distinct experimental and refreshed thinking, highlighting the curatorial power of Chinese contemporary art in the future.

Young Creator Square, on the opening day of Ivy Art 2016 Tianjin Young Art Week, the public enthusiastically participated in the young creator square events debuted at Tianjin Miansan Creative Blocks square. The events brought together 26 representatives from creation companies, groups and individuals from Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei, through this exposition they were able to comprehensively present the economy and culture of creators, revealing that art changes the aesthetic of people’s lives and also showcased the creativity, innovation, entrepreneurial dynamism and passion of the youth.

Contemporary art has always been formed into art circles that appeal to niche audiences, but along with the evolution of the information age, the creators of contemporary art have gradually begun to walk out of the circles and tried to contact the general public. As a new generation of art circles, while maintaining an independent artistic style, young artists are in strong demand and their prerequisite is to connect with the public. As the Chinese urbanization process becomes more remarkable, the young Chinese artists start to actively demonstrate a scrutiny in and pay attention to society, urban life, and the realevents in their artistic creation, and have a strong desire to communicate with the public and the market.

Photo and text by Lin Jiabin/CAFA ART INFO

Translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO

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