This is a crucial moment in China's search for cultural identity as it strives to reconcile the weight of tradition, a troubled recent socio -political history and the rapid entry into the western-style global economy. The most visionary contemporary art in China attempts to shape the future in the light of the past... In a very short space of time China is experiencing a process that in Western culture evolved slowly over centuries. But just as the Florentine Renaissance of the fifteenth century led to the emergence of the city by its use of culture as a vital channel of communication modern China is investing extensively in the development of a cultural infrastructure and in its promotion abroad.
The exhibition presents a lively interchange between the curators' three sections, representing three distinct but complementary attitudes and perceptions.
Zhang Wei, the curator from Guangzhou, in "Throwing Dice", brings together artists of different backgrounds, training and modes of expression. Zhang Wei presents individual visions of human existence in a fragmented and constantly changing world. The videos of Kan Xuan, Pak Sheung Chuen and Yang Fudong (acclaimed in the most recent Venice Biennale), digital animations by Cao Fei (also present at the Biennale), technological installations by Chu Yun, and paintings by Duan Jianyu offer individual stories that engage the spectator in the exploration of a shared existential landscape and in the constant tension between the world of dreams and of reality.
The installation in the section by Davide Quadrio, a curator in Shanghai for the last 15 years, "Art is not enough, not enough!," is produced by the CCCS where it will be given its world premiere. The multimedia installation draws on interviews made by the curator with forty artists in Shanghai, who consider questions about the role of the artist, their relationship with the external world, the social consequences of their work and the international market's effect on traditional modes of artistic production.. This presentation offers a dynamic anthropological insight into the urban panorama of modern Shanghai. (see below for details)
Questions of geo-political identity and cultural relativism are the focus of "Multi-Archeology", the section curated by Li Zhenhua. Installations by the Mongolian artists Wu Ershan and Ren Qinga, highlight the often conflictual relations between the different cultural groups in China today and pose questions about the undermining of the individual in the face of social upheaval.
Both installations, created especially for the exhibition in Florence, take as their theme the human condition in the face of an uncertain future.
The art video by Zhao Liang and Shen Shaomin documents the situation on the Chinese border with North Korea and Russia. An analysis of the consequences of the Mongolian invasion by Genghis Khan on Asiatic culture is compared to the impact of modern globalisation, in the constant cultural interchange between East and West.
"40+4, Art is not enough! Not enough!"
Concept by Davide Quadrio and Lothar Spree
Interviews by Davide Quadrio and Xu Jie
Questions by: Lothar Spree, Davide Quadrio, Zhu Xiaowen, Huang Kui, Li Xuehui, Zhang Enli, Xu Jie.
Flash-cards designed by Huang Kui
Transcription of interviews:
Chinese – English: Flora Yu , Zhu Xiaowen, Alexia Dehaene
Chinese- Italian: Davide Quadrio, Stephanie Chauvel
Captions: Liu Bailu
Camera: Lothar Spree and Zhu Xiaowen
Film and Entrance Clip's editing: Zhu Xiaowen
Entrance Clip's soundtrack: Hu Zi, "Mars rat", Srammer, 2.30 min. 2007 by Hu Zi, Beijing
Editing Assistants: Shen Jiamin and Gao Yue
Post Production: Zhu Xiaowen and Dirk Schulz
After effect animation: Dirk Schulz
Installation technical support in China: Alexander Brandt and Dirk Schulz
Installation design: Nunzia Carbone, Dedo, Shanghai
Composer: Hu Zi
Musicologist: Francesca Tarocco
We would like to thanks for the support all the artists:
Ding Yi, Gong Yan , Gu Wenda, Hu Jieming, Huang Kui, Huang Yuanqing, Lao Jinfeng, Li Lei, Li Shan, Li Xiangyang, Liang Yue, Liu Dahong, Liu Jianhua, Lu Chunsheng, Luo Yongjin, Qiu Deshu, Qu Anxiong, Shen Fan, Shi Yong, Song Haidong, Song Tao, Tang Maohong, Wang Nanming, Wang Tiande, Wang Xingwei, Xiang Liqing, Xu Zhen, Xulongbao, Yang Fudong, Yang Hui, Yang Zhenzhong, Yu Xiaofu , Yu Youhan, Zhang Da, Zhang Ding, Zhang Enli, Zhang Haitian, Zhang Peicheng, Zhou Tiehai, Zhu Julan and Defne Ayas
Documentaries about "off" exhibitions in Shanghai:
"Jinyuan lu 31", "Art For Sale"
courtesy of Alexander Brandt and all artists exhibited.
"Fuck off!", courtesy of Yang Zhichao and Eastlink Gallery.
"Fang Mingzhen and Fang Mingzhu", courtesy of Alexander Brandt and all artists exhibited
"62761232", courtesy of all artists exhibited
"Solo exhibition" courtesy of Alexander Brandt and all artists exhibited
Co-produced by: Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina
Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi Firenze
Tongji University, College of Communication and Art, Shanghai,