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Chinese contemporary art shows in the United States are a quickly growing phenomenon, as recently demonstrated by the Metropolitan Museum’s first major exhibition on contemporary art from China entitled, “Ink art: Past as Present in Contemporary China” and the Rubell Collection’s “28 Chinese” exhibition still on view in Miami.
Contributing to this shift in New York’s engagement with the vibrant market of new art from China is RH Contemporary Art in Chelsea. Its current show “Outside the Lines: New Art from China” is a must-see for anyone interested in Chinese art.
The works of 12 new-wave and mid-career Chinese artists – Gao Weigang, the Gao Brothers, Hu Qinwu, Li Hui, Meng Zhigang, Ni Youyu, Pan Jian, Qiu Anxiong, Qiu Deshu, Yan Bing, Yang Yongliang, and Zheng Chongbin – meet and interact in the common space of the gallery, after two years of extensive research and artist studios visits conducted in China by the RH Contemporary Art team.
The result is an incredible exhibition combining a vast array of different mediums such as sculpture, painting, calligraphy, woodblock printing, photography and video. The artworks present a fast-changing China that raises questions about urbanization, real-estate challenges, spirituality versus technology, tradition versus modernity, society conditioning, Westernization, or the fundamental question of the essence of the human condition.
While many Chinese artists from the previous generation reached fame and international popularity via Political Pop or Cynical Realism, the artists presented at RH push these questions and their own reflection about a changing China further, exploring new mediums and materials in their own artistic quests.
Don’t miss Li Hui’s V laser sculpture on the bottom floor (exhibited in New York for the first time), Yang Yonglian’s arresting photographs, Ni Youyu’s paintings on coins and soap sculptures as well as Qiu Anxiong’s ink and hypnotic animation clips. Artists Yan Bing and Gao Weigang also pushed the collaboration with RH further, by creating site-specific works for the gallery space.
“Outside the Lines: New Art from China” is now on view at RH Contemporary Art through April 12, 2014.