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Art Changsha 2019 Kicked Off in the Hunan Museum

2019-12-10 09:53

At 2:00 p.m. on December 7, 2019, “Experience and Strategy: the Art Changsha 2019” was officially unveiled in the Art Hall, 1st Floor, Hunan Museum. Since 2007, Hunan Museum has held six “Art Changsha” consecutively, and this year ushers in the 7th “Art Changsha”. This is an “atypical cultural landscape” among Chinese major museums. In the 21st century, the functions and missions of a museum began to shift greatly due to the innovations of ideas and technology. The position of museums as cultural hubs has been reemphasized and reinforced. From the perspectives of both time and space, museums are no longer limited to “collecting history”, but are endowed with a value orientation of connecting reality and the future. Therefore, it is essentially an exploration of its functions and the boundaries as well as its relations with the contemporary society for a museum to hold a contemporary art exhibition. This exhibition, featured by an integration of academic and art, apparently reflects the fields of “contradiction” between historical relics and contemporary art. In nature, it is a deep conversation that is based on rich historical materials in the museum and digs into the history and contemporary arts. By implementing the new concepts and ideas of “enlivening” the relics, “merging” the arts into life, and “inviting” the audience to join, this exhibition will further promote cultural confidence, improve public culture and artistic literacy and contribute to keeping up with people’s ever-growing needs for a better life!

The works of ten artists are exhibited in three exhibition areas, i.e. Hunan Museum, Changsha Museum and Tan Guobin Contemporary Art Museum. Their works not only carry strong personal symbolic or graphic language features, but also differ considerably in creative concepts, materials, methods and other aspects. It is almost an “mission impossible” to connect the three exhibition areas with an internal logic, or even to find a relatively complete external expression with a unified “title”. However, through discussions and exchanges with the participating artists and curators in different exhibition areas, as well as the opportunities to observe and feel the painstaking efforts and devotion down in the artists’ studios, the curator seems to have grasped the common features implied in the distinctive personalities of the ten artists and a new growing trend of Chinese contemporary art behind those “winding paths” of different art styles. To summarize personal experiences, the curator tried to use the words “experience and strategy”, which also become the theme of this “Art Changsha”. But this is not a exhibition theme in the usual sense. Those words don’t bear any specific or exact meaning in itself, but rather, it attempts to reveal the current development trend of contemporary art and its significance in methodology, so as to put forward a topic for discussion.

Experience and Strategy: the Art Changsha 2019 is composed of ten solos in three exhibition areas, presenting brilliant works of ten artists including Luo Zhongli, Duan Jianwei, Yang Maoyuan, He An, Liang Yuanwei, Li Jin, Liu Qinghe, Wu Yi, Wang Mai and Fu Yao.

The collective reflections and choices of “experience and strategy” in the process of artistic creation, not only demonstrate the artists’ desire to break through their own limitations and obtain artistic freedom, but also reflect the academic consciousness and value transformation of Chinese contemporary art. After decades of devoted exploration, along with the rapid and all-round development of China’s economy, politics and culture, China’s contemporary art has gradually shifted from imitating and learning from the West to focusing on direct, individual, historical and local experience, emphasizing the use of Chinese strategies and Chinese wisdom while still tracking the outstanding achievements of human civilization. Undoubtedly, this is an road of art with more originality and historical connotations because it truly stands on the highly rational “cultural confidence” and has sustained and vigorous vitality. We believe that Chinese contemporary art will thus embark on a path of successful exploration and independent construction of local art language, discourse and value system.