Using simple lines and traditional ink, Xu Li brings ancient ghosts and ladies to life on xuan paper.
Xu is a representative of China’s “grassroots” artist movement, a group of classically educated artists who have given up on academics to focus on creating art that is closer to everyday life.
It's not often that a press release makes us perk up, but earlier today TimeOut publicized its list of 100 best films made in mainland China, and it's really impressive. As editor James Wilkinson writes:
Say what you want about his art and activism, but Ai Weiwei isn't boring, and certainly not afraid of trying new things. In his latest venture, he makes his acting debut as the star of a sci-fi short film called The Sand Storm, shot this past winter in Beijing during particularly smoggy days. Yes, the story is dystopic.
The bawdy and good folk of That's Shanghai have published the three winning entries from its erotic fiction competition held earlier this month at Glamour Bar as part of the Capital M Literary Festival. (You might remember Jacob Dreyer's review of the event for this site, which was heavy on Bai Ling.) As That's editor Ned Kelly so delicately summarizes:
A few months ago (when it was still cold), Douban put on a small show at Café XP as part of their ongoing "Beyond the Billboard" series of concerts, this one featuring two bands from Chengdu - Sound and Fury (featured here, previously) and Hiperson. We'd never had a chance to interview a band from Chengdu before, let alone two, so naturally we were all over this like... like... like a Chinese nationalist on a contested floating rock?
Zhang Botao searches for remnants of ancient tradition in China’s modern women. Since 2010, he has been working on oil paintings inspired by ancient beauties at his studio in the Songzhuang artist colony.
His paintings blend modern figures with ancient oriental traits. Each of the women in his works show eyes full of desperation and sorrow.
Communist Party cadres throw down rapper-level cash on luxury brands, especially in the name of "gifts of guanxi," but a shrinkage in the gift market has affected some key industries in the domestic policy game, like Moutai, which has seen sales plummet over the last year. Luxury darlings Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Cartier also have all seen a slump in demand.
A new exhibition at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, curated by Karen Archery and Robin Peckham, is exploring the character of new art whose concepts, ideas, dissemination and reception are defined by a post-Internet world.
Titled “Art Post-Internet,” the collection includes works by artists based in New York, London and Berlin.
Several more months of terrible air, bad publicity and one inspired brainstorm session with my friend Kyle convinced me that this was a movie that needed be made. Beijing right now is one of the most fascinating clusters of humanity in the world and yet it’s almost perpetually shrouded in a layer of physical and public relations pollution. I get that. I’ve read the history, I breathe the air, I eat the gutter oil, and yeah, that all sucks. But at the end of the day this place just has an energy that I’m in love with.
Continuing our ongoing series in Wuhan is The One, a classic rock 'n' roll band following the likes of Chuck Berry and early Elvis Presley. They are also employees at the legendary VOX Livehouse, the only large-scale venue in a city with more than a million students.
Judging by the latest collection at Asian Art Works, the life of the modern artist is world-weary and pessimistic.
The new exhibition, titled Collections of Asian Art Works, reflects the personal attitudes of the gallery’s collected artists. Those attitudes may be a symptom of China’s general outlook on prosperity.
Memetjan Abla, a painter, teacher, husband and father, known for his subtle use of color in his elegant portraits of Uyghur urban life, was lost on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. He was 35.
Among the hundreds of galleries in Beijing, Intelligentsia Gallery is quite unusual in its interactive approach to exhibitions.
Created as a room of sorts, it regularly gathers the works of painters, sculptures and photographers into a shared space that enables visitors to interact with the art.
This March, it is presenting a group exhibition titled Hermeneutics of a Room. Featured artists include Meng Zhigang, Simona Rota, Matjaž Tančič, James Ronner and Camille Ayme.
In the wake of the horrific violence in Kunming, Uyghurs around the country have taken to Chinese-language social media to create distance between themselves and the killing of the innocent. The celebrity of Uyghur-Han ethnic friendship, the Guizhou kebab-seller-turned-philanthropist Alimjan (A-li-mu-jiang), put it best. Echoing the massively popular Indian-American film My Name is Khan, Alimjan said, “My name is Jiang and I am not a terrorist.” Many people also expressed empathy with those who experienced personal loss and pain on March 1 by writing on their WeChat accounts, “We are all Kunming people today.”
Posted just last week to Vimeo (password duihua), The Dialogue is a film by Wang Wo that looks at the Chinese government’s increasingly restrictive policies toward non-governmental contact between minority groups (specifically Tibetan and Uyghur) and Han Chinese. The film centers on an attempt by Chinese intellectuals and human rights lawyers to make contact with the Dalai Lama.
If you only gave Yang Shufeng’s engraving prints a short glance, his work would come off as a confused mess.
The chaotic lines and objects seem to purposefully confound whatever message Yang hopes to send. But in that confusion lies the real message: one of depression, anger, disappointment, and rebellion.
The definition of irony has always been difficult to pin down, even for the most seasoned of wordsmiths, but here’s an attempt through example: an artist who achieved fame by defacing or destroying other artists’ work sees one of his defaced works defaced by another artist.
The famous artist is Ai Weiwei, whose 1995 photographic triptych Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn is undoubtedly one of the pieces that propelled him to international art world fame and fortune.
About a month ago Douban, as part of its ongoing "Beyond the Billboard" event series, invited two bands from Chengdu to perform at Café XP in Beijing - Sound and Fury and Hiperson. I got to interview both bands for the show before the concert. The band featured here is the former, which plays shoegaze, a style that seems to have become very prominent with Chinese indie types late last year.