Yishus: The Aesthetics Of Chen Guangcheng

Chen Guangcheng is hot
Chen Guangcheng may be leaving China soon, as passports are expected to be issued to his family “within 15 days,” he said, according to the Telegraph. At least one BJC contributor is sad to see him go. By Lola B For the past couple of weeks, scrolling through windows of China news, the only face... Read more »

Yishus: Caochangdi Photospring, Where You Can Take Pictures Of Pictures

Rongrong and Inri
Fan Shisan’s “2 of Us” series (in which the same subject is photographed twice, creating two friends out of one individual) argues that the One-Child-Policy generation is the loneliest generation. My art critic friend and I walked through a Miyazaki spring wonderland of floating tree sperm to make a point of arriving early to Caochangdi on... Read more »

Yishus: In Which Lola Coins The Term “Frivolititties”

Lucian Freud's painting of Bella, his daughter
I’m not sure how the topic came up, but over drinks at a newish bar on Beiluoguxiang, a few friends and I started discussing nudity and a certain sans-vêtements Beijing summer gathering last year (if you didn’t hear about it, your loss). “Oh, we were only naked, it was no big deal,” my friend repeated after... Read more »

Yishus: What Are We Teaching Our Children?

Kids draw the darndest things
I leaned over my Japanese eel handroll bought by the 10-year-old Chinese girl’s mother who was decked in glistening gold chains and a sparkling chemise. Looking squarely at the girl on this, our very first appointment, I asked her, “What is bad art?” She matter-of-factly responded, “Art made by grown-ups.”  As an interim project to... Read more »

Yishus: Am I Really Beauty?

Porn or art
Regarding the “I Am Beauty” sculptures that appeared recently on this site: I suppose I should just be happy to see a public monument to the fact that everyone likes sex. But you have questions, I just know it: Is it porn? Is it art? Is it actually porn cleverly disguised as art? No. To all the above.

Yishus: Who Critiques The Critics?

How interesting
Via Learn to Art Asked why she painted the mausoleum yellow – “This is wrong,” the Chinese art professor scolded – the foreign student at a top Chinese art school provided a thorough rejoinder defending the logic behind her aesthetic choice. The girl’s translator relayed the information to the professor. The next second, the student... Read more »

Yishus: Have Your Art Professor’s Guy Call My Guy

Booby traps
Via The Green Pea Boat “I like to help my students as much as I can.” Sitting at his dining room table at 10 pm while nibbling on expensive imported dried apricots, the Chinese art professor uttered this while texting recommendations on behalf of his graduating students to collectors and other well-moneyed contacts. “I’m sorry... Read more »

Yishus: Attending Art School In China Might Make You Rich, But At The Cost Of Being Able To Make Real Art

A Photo Booth creation.
While huffing bubbles into my coconut’s milky core, I told my Beijing-born friend nonchalantly and without embarrassment that I had graduated from art school with a major in painting. Her response? “Great! Well, at least you can sell your paintings!” My nasal passages flooded with fruit juice. This was a far cry from the more... Read more »

YISHUS: The Inaugural Column About Art In China, From A Real Artist In Beijing

Qi BaiShi vs. Marilyn Monroe, by Zhang Wei (via The Grand Narrative)
Two weekends ago, our mouths overflowing with Lantern Festival sesame-injected sweet rice balls, a Chinese art historian asked me why Americans don’t buy Guohua (国画).Guohua is the National Chinese painting style that Westerners all know from the animated opening credits of Mulan. It also encompasses the significant majority of art purchased by Chinese people. “So,... Read more »