The Guggenheim’s series Turn It On: China on Film, 2000–2017, curated by Ai Weiwei and Wang Fen, gathers documentaries by Chinese artists and filmmakers.
Each of these thoughtful, well-realized works offers an investigation into global politics, the contemporary as historical, and environmental collapse, with room to laugh, rest, and think in between.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s first full-on foray into the world of contemporary Chinese art, Ink Art: Past As Present In Contemporary China surveys 70 works by 35 artists.
Whenever I find myself strolling in the hutongs near Gulou and see the entrance of Bed Bar, images of Liang Tao’s 2005 cross-gender performance come to mind. I met her that same year in the 798 art district, just after her performance “Madhouse in Paradise” at Marella Gallery. For that piece she built a replica of a room from a Western mental institution, in which she spent two days as a “perfectly happy” schizophrenic patient. Her point was that, after having spent a period of time in a Chinese mental institution, a Western one would be quite a nice place to live.
PBS documentary show Frontline features Alison Klayman’s work filming Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s tumultuous past two years. The journalist has followed Ai through art exhibitions and political scandals alike, interviewing the artist and his family as well as the Chinese artistic community in a powerful portrait of one of the world’s most striking artistic figures.
A study by Artprice finds that the Chinese art market is the largest in the world — but only in terms of auctions. The misleading news bite is telling in other ways, though. The Chinese domestic auction market is growing so quickly in part because Western auction houses like Christie’s and Sotheby’s have failed to dominate even while the Chinese collector community has grown hugely.
What’s your sign? Chinese artist and international icon Ai Weiwei will be bringing his own custom-designed set of Zodiac sculptures to New York City’s Plaza Hotel from May 2 through July 15, reports the New York Times. The works seem harmless, but they have a historical context that gives them a deeper political meaning.
With Sotheby’s announcement of their sale of Guy Ullens’ collection of Chinese contemporary art comes news that Ullens is divesting himself of his Chinese contemporary art museum in Beijing, handing it over to long-term Chinese partners. A major Ai Weiwei exhibition planned at the space was recently canceled due to political pressure.
Belgian industrialist Guy Ullens is the most important international collector of Chinese contemporary art, amassing an encyclopedic collection and opening a contemporary art museum in Beijing. Now he’s selling off a part of that collection at Sotheby’s. Here’s why the sale is important.