Date: January 20th till February 15th, 2006
Artists participating: Zhou Zixi, Liu Weijian, Sun Xun
Curator: Biljana Ciric
Assistant Curator: Huang Yuelin
Directors: Shen Qibin
Public relations: Zhao Song, Eva Feng
Technical Assistance: Shen Shanyuan, Bao Zhengyuan
In the contemporary art world, it is becoming increasingly rare to see an art exhibition composed entirely of paintings. The current trend seems to be to exhibit primarily video, photography, and installation works. However, painting can still be a compelling form of artistic expression, as evidenced by the show “Future Landscapes” at the Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art. In this show, artists who work in or near Shanghai convey the anxiety and excitement of living in a rapidly changing urban environment.
In a way, China’s society today looks very much like the city of Shanghai itself in its search for satisfaction, a better life, and its desire for entertainment.
The rapid urban explosion has brought big changes to the people’s way of life. The cities throughout China, with their specific cultural background and characteristics that distinguish them from other global cities, became the places where new sounds were born and new standpoints were chosen for the urban life that we ought to live. This all brought to life strategies that in some cases lead to utopian or dystopian imagination as an artistic expression and to visions of the future world. Artists living in China have been facing this reality. Most of them are using new market-provided media to develop their critical standpoints: digital images, the internet, computers, etc.
The younger generation of artists, having experienced all the rapid changes that have been occurring in big cities like Shanghai, seems to have lost their interest in painting as a medium of expression.
New media, new life styles, and the pressures of everyday reality in the city itself have influenced the young generation of artists to turn to other means of expression. The truth is that there are actually few artists that still use painting as a medium.
The Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art exhibition “Future Landscapes” presents paintings of the young artists who are working under the rise of the market economy in cities full of consumer desires. Although they work in different media such as video, photography, and animation, they still use painting as an artistic language. Most of the works to be shown will be appearing for the first time in front of an audience. The pressure of the art market demands that the art community preserve their unique artistic expression. They stand firm, looking from their own standpoint at the city they live in and the lives passing by.
They show their strategies of living in an urban environment that isolates every aspect of the human yearning towards temporal happiness.
The works create an invisible pictorial climate within the gallery space in order to present autonomous life, which is perhaps the best definition of painting: it’s radiance, just as the art critic Pierre Restany claimed