Exhibition: M+ Sigg Collection: Four Decades of Chinese Contemporary Art
February 23–April 5, 2016
ArtisTree Taikoo Place Hong Kong
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M+, Hong Kong’s new museum for 20th and 21st century visual culture in the West Kowloon Cultural District, presents M+ Sigg Collection: Four Decades of Chinese Contemporary Art, at ArtisTree in Taikoo Place from February 23 to April 5, 2016, with the support of Leading Sponsor Credit Suisse.
M+ Sigg Collection: Four Decades of Chinese Contemporary Art is a rigorously curated exhibition of highlights from the M+ Sigg Collection, the largest and most comprehensive assemblage of Chinese contemporary art in the world. This research-based exhibition spans 40 years and is the first to tell the fascinating stories behind the emergence and the development of Chinese contemporary art in a chronological format. Comprising around 80 seminal works of various formats and media, including painting, ink art, sculpture, photography, video, and installation, the exhibition charts the evolution of contemporary art in China: from the efforts of self-organised collectives, such as the No Name Group and Stars Group, operating on the periphery of society and outside mainstream discourse towards the end of the Cultural Revolution, through the radical experiments of Cynical Realism and Political Pop artists in the 1990s, to the social engagement of the artists of the Olympic era, bifurcated between East and West, traditional and modern.
The exhibition follows a three-chapter approach. The first chapter (1974–89) introduces artistic practices and experiments within self-initiated collectives such as the No Name Group (1974–79), the Stars Group (1979–82), the Pond Society, the Northern Art Collective and Xiamen Dada during the 85 New Wave, and the developments up to the 1989 China/Avant-Garde exhibition. It reveals how the artists manifested self-expression and autonomous thinking, which resulted in an ideological tug of war with mainstream social realistic arts until the end of the Cold War in 1989.
The second chapter (1990–99) examines artistic practices and diversity during the post-Cold War era in China. The government’s determination to promote urbanisation and consumerism provided an opportunity for artists to reposition themselves in an international context, particularly within the art market. However, this newfound identity triggered cultural anxiety and gave rise to more radical experiments in performance, photography, video, and conceptual art during the mid-1990s.
The final chapter (2000–present) centres on works produced in the pre- and post-Olympic era, when China experienced unprecedented social and economic acceleration caused by globalisation and urbanisation. Artists became conscious of the consequences brought on by these rapid developments and, as a result, art production expanded beyond political viewpoints to include everyday vocabularies. While some artists began to forge a new relationship with tradition, others re-entered the arena of “social engagement” in response to the contemporary socio-political reality.
M+ Sigg Collection: Four Decades of Chinese Contemporary Art offers multiple entry points and crystallises one of the most remarkable art historical phenomena from the last half-century. The works in this exhibition are mostly drawn from the M+ Sigg Collection, which consists of 1,510 Chinese contemporary artworks acquired through a donation and purchase agreement with Dr Uli Sigg, a leading collector of Chinese contemporary art, in June 2012. The M+ Sigg Collection is a coherently and systematically built museum-quality collection. This body of works functions as a historical document, representing the most culturally dynamic period in the history of modern China. It is part of the M+ Collection, which encompasses the disciplines of visual art, design and architecture, and moving image, and narrates the multi-centred, transnational, and transcultural context of 20th and 21st century visual culture.
Artists featured in this exhibition include: Ai Weiwei, Cao Fei, Chen Shaoxiong, Chi Xiaoning, Ding Yi, Fang Lijun, Feng Guodong, Geng Jianyi, Hai Bo, Hu Qingyan, Huang Rui, Huang Yong Ping, Kan Xuan, Li Shan, Liang Yuanwei, Lin Yilin, Liu Heung Shing, Liu Jianhua, Liu Wei (b.1965), Liu Wei (b.1972), Liu Xiaodong, Lu Qing, Ma Desheng, Qiu Shihua, Shi Xinning, Song Dong, Wang Guangle, Wang Guangyi, Wang Jin, Wang Keping, Wang Peng, Wang Xingwei, Weng Fen, Xing Danwen, Xu Zhen, Yan Lei, Yang Fudong, Yangjiang Group, Yin Xiuzhen, Yu Hong, Yu Youhan, Yue Minjun, Zeng Fanzhi, Zhan Wang, Zhang Huan, Zhang Peili, Zhang Wei, Zhang Xiaogang, Zheng Guogu, and Zheng Ziyan.
M+ Sigg Collection: Four Decades of Chinese Contemporary Art is curated by Pi Li, Senior Sigg Curator, Visual Art, M+ in collaboration with Uli Sigg and Lars Nittve.
For further information, please contact:
Hong Kong: West Kowloon Cultural District Authority