Curated by the vice-director of the Whitebox Art Center, Cao Maochao, “Outliers –Traversing a time of anxiety” annual group exhibition will open on May 27, 2017. Inviting sixteen artists born from 1970 to 1990 to participate, most of the works on view are “tailor-made” for this exhibition, focusing on the artistic ecology and reality we live in the present. This exhibition marks Whitebox Art Center’s continuous focus on young artists projects, by which to discover and promote young artists with acute attitudes and unique creative approaches.
Based on shifting grounds of the supply and demand of the planned economy to the profit-seeking market economy, particularly, the various economic policies in the 1990s had fundamental impact on the various principles and understanding of the former socialist experience. The versatility of social mechanism that came with it equally challenged the public tolerance, a sense of anxiety outpoured, the artists living in this tidal wave are not the carps crossing the river, rather their artistic practice became the appealing path for a spiritual pursuit.“Outliers” sets the academic tone for this exhibition, resonating with Foucault’s “Technology of the self”, which demands the artist to pay attention to the self, to achieve self-cultivation through internal reflection and external contemplation.
“Chinese patient” has become the portrayal of the general public in the last two decades, referring those who suffer from the symptoms of anxiety that cannot be eradicated. Confronted with anxieties of survival, identity, living space…artist living in this period have equally fallen for the same anxiety, being the “outliers”, they are aware of this time of anxiety, and hope to cure the“anxiety” of our time through artistic practice, and heal through ongoing discussions; they have kept an introspective and self-critical attitude,refusing to be assigned with identities and rehashing iconographies in their works of art. They take the courage to step outside of the existing frameworks and knowledge groups, this is not only a conscious role shifting in the practiceof art, but also an active escape.
The participating artists can be divided into different age groups, whose choice of contents and forms also mark an evolutionary progress. Those who were born in the 1970s have chosen painting as their primary vehicle of expression; and those born in the 80s-90s have shown vivid, audacious and versatile characteristics of the time in their works of art. Overall, they have shown significant differentiation from the previous generations of artists, who are not swayed by major political events, neither would they undertake the burden of history on their shoulders. They confront their practice and life, unhinged by the limitations of any artistic medium and material. As a spiritual sample of a young artist exhibition, we look forward to your analysis, and this exhibition will continue to June 11, 2017.
About the exhibition
Dates: May 27, 2017 – Jun 11, 2017
Opening: May 27, 2017, Saturday
Venue: Whitebox Art Center
Artists: Huang Liyan, Li Binyuan, Li Kezheng, Lu Zhengyuan, Ma Ke, Pu Yingwei, Shen Chaofang, Su Shangzhou, Sun Ziyao, Tang Bohua, Tong Kunniao, Wu Wei, Xiao Daniu, Xu Hongxiang, Zhang Yue, Zhang Wenrong
Courtesy of the artists and Whitebox Art Center, for further information please visit www.798whitebox.com.