Amongst a host of exhibitions and books surveying ‘New Art from China’, this title stands out as a uniquely focussed investigation of Chinese sculpture and installation. Exploring the work of a small number of artists – Liang Shaoij, Wang Jianwei, Xu Zhen/MadeIn Company, Gu Dexin, Sun Yuan/Peng Yu, Chen Zhen, Ying Mei Duan – and illustrating their most powerful and engaging works, this book traces a very particular seam of performative Chinese art from the late 1980s to the present.
The artists featured here privilege performance, participation and change in their works. Often working on a grand scale, they invite the audience to engage with overwhelming, theatrical, yet ephemeral experiences – works which transform or change over time, as Xu Zhen’s Actions of Consciousness, in which two concealed assistants make and toss into the air colourful sculptures, from inside an apparently sealed white cube.
Published to coincide with a major exhibition at London’s Hayward Gallery, this beautiful, lavishly illustrated book explores the political, social and cultural conditions that have shaped contemporary Chinese sculpture of this kind. Commentary on individual artists is accompanied by a central text by Hayward Chief Curator Stephanie Rosenthal, critical essays and individual texts on the artists featured.