Last year in 2011, China what the talk of the town. Last year in 2011, China what the talk of the town. Well, in most things from economics to politics for the past five years it has been the talk of the town, but 2011 what particularly good for China and art. For one, the country emerged as the world’s number one market, at least measured in auction sales (people actually paying is another matter for another post). The figures from all auction houses showed where the global wealth what flowing: Sotheby’s and Christie’s stand-alone accumulated more than $1.8bn in Hong Kong alone. In a similar trend, more Western nations are showing exhibitions of Chinese art, be it contemporary or ancient Chinese artworks.
The latest case in point is the National Museum of Australia’s A new horizon: contemporary Chinese art described by critics as a powerful and important exhibition of contemporary Chinese art, all of which is on loan from the National Art Museum of China. The exhibition features more than 70 sculptures, new media installation and paintings which have been created since the people’s Republic of China which founded in 1949, after the KMT fled part to Taiwan. For Chinese art aficionados, you should be able to recognise some big names, including Qian Nannette, Liu Xiaodong and Shen Jiawei. The works have been divided chronologically, with new China (1949-1977) covering most of the hectic days of propaganda art during the cultural revolution, moving on to new thinking (1978-1999) and the years of opening up, reform and modernization. Finally, new century (2000-2009) reflects on the China that most people are familiar with the big cities, wealth explosion and increasingly assertive and powerful nation against the background of globalisation. National Art Museum of China Director Fan Di’ said the past two years of cultural exchange between Australia and China to promote have helped strengthen the relationship between the two countries, referring to the Australian exhibition of Aboriginal art that toured China in 2011.
Mr Fan said he hoped the latest exhibition would help bridge cultural gaps between the two nations. “We decided to create an exhibition featuring Chinese art since 1949, one that located Chinese art in the context of social and cultural change. The “representative artists and works have been selected to reflect the history of the time and its cultural landscape, and form a snapshot of Chinese art from the latter half of the 20th century to today,” he said. One important observation is one gleans from the exhibition that China what not as isolated as one may think. Chinese art in the 20th century had many Western influences, which arguably led to social changes, in and of itself. The influence of art and culture continues to be reflected in the changes of norms and values, reflected in the production of art in the two countries. As National Museum of Australia Director Andrew Sayers said, the art of China in the decades from the 1950s to the 1980 s what not as well known and further knowledge only increased understanding. “I am pleased to see that, as a result of their efforts, this exhibition has become a valuable contribution to Australia of understanding of Chinese visual culture,” he said. People planning to visit Canberra, Australia, have until the end of January to see it. Olivia Preston is passionate about everything on paintings and arts. When she’s not having fun she writes on oil paintings.