Made in Britain: Contemporary Art from the British Council Collection 1980-2010 is a touring exhibition presented by the Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy in partnership with the Sichuan Museum, Xi’an Art Museum, Hong Kong Heritage Museum and Suzhou Museum. It has been exhibited at Xi’an Art Museum(March to May, 2011) and Sichuan Museum (December 2010 to February 2011). Other touring cities and dates are Hong Kong Heritage Museum (June 30th to October 9th, 2011) and Suzhou Museum (October 2011 to January 2012).
This exhibition has been specially selected from the British Council Collection, one of the most comprehensive holdings of modern and contemporary British art in the world, containing some 8500 art works by over 1650 British artists. ‘Made in Britain’ builds on the concept of the recently shown ‘The Future Demands Your Participation’ which took place at Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai early in 2010 as part of the UK’s program of cultural events for Shanghai Expo. Made in Britain aims to bring British art and the British Council Collection to a new audience, and ensure that the legacy of the UK’s participation in Shanghai Expo is shared by audiences across China.
In the past three decades, Britain experienced dramatic changes in its social, political and cultural life enormous shifts have taken place in the role which art plays within British society which had a deep and transformative impact on the development of British art. From Gilbert & George’s Intellectual Depression of 1980 to Gary Hume’s Sister Troop, this exhibition tells the story of how art has mapped and reflected these changes – and indeed been at the very forefront of social change itself. Gifted with an acute sensitivity and empathy for social issues, contemporary artists who created works that depicted the changing faces of British society over the past three decades are covered in this exhibition. Contemporary Art from the British Council Collection 1980-2010′ showcases works by 36 groups of British artists mainly produced in the period between 1990 and 2010.
Some of this shift can be attributed to the arrival of a new, entrepreneurial and ambitious generation of artists in the early 1990s, collectively known as the YBA’s (short for Young British Artists) and including artists such as Michael Landy, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Damien Hirst, Sarah Lucas, and Gillian Wearing who will take the centre stage at the third leg of the touring exhibition. Featuring works also include Turner Prize winners such as Richard Wright and Wolfgang Tillmans as well as several nominees. The show that has been created encompasses an enormous diversity of styles and conceptions to let the viewer gain an insight into the unique contemporary British art.