Faces and Bodies of the Middle Kingdom: Chinese Art of the 90's
Johnson Tsongzung CHANG/Ladislav KESNER
Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague
This is the catalogue for the exhibition ‘Faces and Bodies of the Middle Kingdom: Chinese Art of the 90s’ which opened at Galerie Rudolfinum (Prague) in 1997 and toured to Otso (Finland) in the following year. By focusing on the visual representations of faces (especially that of Chairman Mao) and bodies (which do not only serve a social function) in paintings produced during the 1980s and 1990s, and by comparing these with representations before 1976, the audience is able to explore the changes taking place in Chinese art after the Cultural Revolution. In the words of the organiser, ‘The contemporary interpretations of face and body in Chinese art are by no means the last word; on the contrary, we see a wide range of experimentation in areas of multi-media as well as pictorial art, which shows that the Chinese cultural world is just starting to question and digest the modern experience, activity in search of the face and body that best illustrates its own visions and hopes. As China heads toward the new millennium, there is greater incentive to consolidate this century’s experience and to attempt to understand what “modernity” has meant for China. Icons of the face and images of the carnal body should provide fertile ground for study and reflection.’ The accompanying essays offer a study of the theme of the exhibition. Biographical information of the artists is also provided.
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