Gigs, dance, art

July 25th, 2008: China Gold

@musée Maillol

Sticking with the China theme, I went to a show of Chinese contemporary art. My first motive was its poster, featuring a striking painting by Feng Zhengjie. Well, it’s actually much better, and there was another one. I really loved those, their gaudy colors and weird eyes were striking. I had a mind to buy the show’s book, but finally didn’t because the pictures didn’t do justice to these paintings.

Maybe I’ve been made overly suspicious by the backward looking mindset of many french art shows, but I was pleasantly surprised that when they said “contemporary”, they actually meant it. I didn’t hold a tally, but I’d say almost all works were less than ten year old, most less than five, and a few from this very year. Kudos for the curator for that.

It was a great show, just the right size, far different from the all-or-nothing of say the Pompidou center. Diverse, but so good. I started writing down the names of those I liked, but actually ended up copying most of the names. That’s how much I liked it. For different reasons, from the technique — the ash paintings of Zhang Huan or the raised circles of Yin Zhaoyang’s amazing paintings — to the colors — Feng Zhengjie and Zeng Fanzhi’s fire on black with colorful trails — to some unexpected mixes — abstract/trivial with Hong Hao’s circles or realistic/unreal with Ling Jian’s portrait.

Then there were Zhang Dali’s portraits made out of “AK47” letters, the old/new reversal of red and blue in Qheng Qi’s Beijing crowd, Li Qing’s blue ping pong table with orange balls in carved depressions, Jiao Xingtao bubblegum wrapper, Jiang Zhi’s neon rainbow and Ji Dachun’s banana ouroboros — with a wink to the most famous banana in painting. I was also impressed by Yan Lei’s sparkling portrait of a stewardess that look blurred from up close but clear from a distance. And the crowd of clones in Cui Xiuwen’s Angel n°4 has struck a chord made me want to see more of her work. A feeling that I also have for not just those I listed in this post, but most of those I left out as well.

That was a blast, one of my favorite art show ever — not my favorite though, that’s probably still Pipilotti Rist’s weekend solo show — and for a collective show it was amazing.

For another take on this — in french, but with pictures — go there.


July 27, 2008 - Posted by | Art | , ,


  1. Hey !
    Thank you for the link !

    Comment by sebika | July 28, 2008 | Reply

  2. You’re most welcome, Sebika.
    And thanks for your post, I found it before going there, and it was actually one of the reasons why I went. So linking to it is the least I can do.

    Comment by counterfnord | July 29, 2008 | Reply

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