The artistry of the Dunhuang images lends support to a historical view of ‘Chineseness’--not as a lineal development of a single, indigenous culture, but as fruits of cross-pollination of different cultures.
New York, New York (PRWEB) December 23, 2013
CHINA HAPPENINGS™ is pleased to announce that its founder Chiu-Ti Jansen discusses Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China, an exhibition that opens at the Met’s galleries for Chinese painting and calligraphy on December 11, in her blog titled CHINESE ELEMENTS for Sotheby’s International. She also recently writes about Inspired by Dunhuang: Re-creation in Contemporary Chinese Art, a new show that opens at the China Institute in America Gallery on December 14. Both exhibitions present a welcomed opportunity to examine contemporary Chinese aesthetics through the rich and diverse traditions of Chinese visual art.
Ms. Jansen’s discussion of the Met show focuses on how, more than ink on paper that derives its visual identity from the traditional forms of ink art, the show also includes works that deploy a myriad of newer media and yet exhibit an ink art aesthetic through their rich associations with Chinese literati sensitivity. What is exactly “ink art aesthetics”? How is it relevant to our contemporary sensitivity? Ms. Jansen explains that the notion refers to the Chinese scholarly worldview that has informed all aspects of literati tastes and aesthetic pursuits. But contemporary Chinese ink art is neither a revival of classicism nor a clean break from the past. From the transformed and transforming urban landscape in the works by Yang Jiechang, Hong Hao, Xing Danwen, to the stainless steel and silicone rubber “fake” scholarly rocks by Zhan Wang, to the landscape tattooed body art of Huang Yan, the new ink art investigates the multifarious potentials of traditional formats, styles and themes, but in the context of a new world dis/order.
Literacy and poetic expressions are the predominant attributes of literati art that distinguishes the Chinese artistic tradition. Using the works by Xu Bing, Zhang Huan and Cai Guo-Qiang as examples, Ms. Jansen illustrates how writings remain an aesthetic obsession for many contemporary artists.
The Dunhuang show, on the other hand, offers an illuminating picture about an overlooked influence on contemporary Chinese art. For Ms. Jansen, the ancient Dunhuang artists’ reliance on their imagination, rather than verisimilitude of observed reality, offers a striking contrast to the pedagogical prevalence of the propagandist social realism during the Cultural Revolution. Many contemporary artists take cues from, and re-appropriate, the color combinations and compositions seen in the Dunhuang caves.
Chiu-Ti Jansen, Founder of the CHINA HAPPENINGS™ brand, who attended the opening night receptions at the Met with artist Cai Guoqiang et al., commented: “It is a heart-warming experience to see contemporary Chinese art being integrated into the Met, home to one of the most coveted collections of classical Chinese art in the world.”
Ms. Jansen also remarked on the Dunhuang show: “Spanning more than 1,000 years, Dunhuang art bears out how shifting dynastic dominances and political authorities brought with them multi-faceted cultural influences. The artistry of these images lends support to a historical view of ‘Chineseness’--not as a lineal development of a single, indigenous culture, but as fruits of cross-pollination of different cultures.”
CHINA HAPPENINGS™ is a multimedia platform founded by Chiu-Ti Jansen that focuses on the lifestyle and cultural industries in contemporary China. Ms. Jansen is a TV presenter, a lifestyle magazine publisher and a writer based in New York City with a pulse on China. She hosts TV and video presentations on fashion and style for Phoenix TV, Phoenix Fashion and SINA Fashion, and writes a blog titled CHINESE ELEMENTS for international auction house Sotheby’s (http://www.sothebys.com/en/news-video/blogs/all-blogs/chinese-elements.html) and a fashion and style column titled NEW YORK IN STYLE for the Financial Times’ Chinese edition (http://www.ftchinese.com/column/007000053). Prior to founding CHINA HAPPENINGS, Ms. Jansen was a New York-based corporate partner of an international law firm. A native speaker and write of Mandarin Chinese, Ms. Jansen holds advanced degrees from Yale University and Columbia Law School and serves on the Contemporary Art Advisory Committee of China Institute in America and the Board of the Couture Council of Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).
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