Contemporary Chinese Art Narrates the Change of Chinese Society
— By YUE LIU; Translated By YU-TING LIU
Salem is more than a bewitched town. From February 21st to May 17th, the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem holds a 3 months long Contemporary Chinese Art Exhibition, called Mahjong, presenting dozens of leading young Chinese artists’ work. The exhibition includes painting, photograph, ceramics, and digital art from the Uli Sigg collection.
Uli Sigg has assembled the world’s largest and most influential contemporary Chinese art collection. As an international businessman
and then Swiss ambassador to China, Sigg has enjoyed the powerful pulse of China that changes tremendously throughout history.
His collection documents the cultural, economic and political landscape through unforgettable work of art.
It will definitely leave us an unforgettable memory once we visit the exhibition. Some works in this exhibition are presented via the old Chinese ideology; however, they wear a shell of brand new living attitude. Others describe a moving timeline of past, present, and future with visual language. Through Chinese contemporary artists’ unique perspective, it
is such an experience to see the contrast between the old legacy Chinese culture and the new burgeoning consumer economy as well as the merge of Oriental tradition and the Western modernization.
The exhibition has two galleries: one of them is dedicated to the era of Mao
Zedong and the propagandas from the Cultural Revolution, while the contemporary Chinese art gallery, brings us a distinct cultural (ex)change experience.
Some of the abstract art requires viewers to engage personally and find connections with the art and artists’ temptation. To find out more about the exhibition, log on to Peabody Essex Museum’s official website
www.pem.org/mahjong Horizons, 2005, O Zhang, Color photographs,
Sigg Collection, Courtesy of the Peabody Essex Museum. O Zhang, a Central Academy of Fine Art (Beijing, China) and Royal College of Art (London, UK) alumnus, now an NYC based professional artist.
Horizon, with vivid color expression and the naive gaze from the rural Chinese girls, Zhang subverts the traditional dynamic between the subject
and viewers. The crouching position of the girls implies their hidden and growing power. Log on to www.ozhang.com to find out more about this young and inspiring artist.
Artist from Mahjong