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collective delirium
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bring the dogs out
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performance by Sergey Balovin
red land, yellow stars
@ Galerie Libre Cours (Brussels)
closet (6 solos)
something in common
trace, line, shadow
there is no innocence, only different levels of responsibility
Christin Kalweit solo show
what is the name? solution?
gardener
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different species
Robert Lee Davis solo show (ifa-YK)
right eye - left leg
Je suis Chinois. Et toi ?
@ Galerie Nathalie Gas & Bernard Guillon (Paris)
in memory of the perfect wife
Zane Mellupe personal exhibition
the hell. the heaven.
on the way. in between.
15 days without You
Bangbang & Blackandwhite
the house (ifa²gallery)
Azure Dragon, Vermilion Bird, Yellow Dragon, White Tiger, Black Tortoise
a poem from the earth (ifa²gallery)
the end of the rainbow
Wu Junyong solo exhibition
Zhao Qian Sun Li
Fan Jiupeng solo show (ifa²gallery)
police and her
skin
Dai Guangyu solo show (ifa²gallery)
the history of etiquette
fist
Liu Bolin solo show (ifa²gallery)
carte blanche - winter exhibition
beneath my skin
Vietnamese art insight
@ URBN hotel
elevation / integration
a snapshot of contemporary vietnamese art
portraits of china
move
efflorescence
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Dai Guangyu solo exhibition
automata
urban lust
some space for humanity
Gao Brothers solo exhibition
everything is not quite right
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Zhang Kai
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ART BASEL | HONG KONG 13
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ACAF NEW YORK 08
Bangbang & Blackandwhite

press release
e-invitation

19 february - 11 april 2011
vernissage: saturday 19 february 2011 - 5 to 9 pm
 
curator Zane Mellupe
direction Alexis Kouzmine-Karavaïeff
writers Zane Mellupe & Ni Kun
chinese translation Cai Zhenxing
english translation Lauren Gollasch
coordination Cai Zhenxing
assistance Chen Hongmei & Piotr Tkacz
maintenance Wu Suying
installation Wang Yuwang
framing Shanghai Daniel Arts & Crafts
artists featured Fu Yuxiang, Li Xiaojing, Li Xiaoqi, Li Wenchun, Pang Xuan, Zheng Yu
texts
Bangbang & Blackandwhite by Zane Mellupe
Experiencing the city, expressing the self by Ni Kun
Q&A between the curator Zane Mellupe and Ni Kun

Bangbang and Blackandwhite is a story of Bangbang who hangs about the streets, earning 2000RMB per month carrying shop goods and private “burdens”.  In the evenings he goes to Tuya Street where the beautiful Blackandwhite lives. He poses for her, getting 18RMB for 45 minutes - letting her make him more black and more white… He takes off his clothes and lies down very timidly in front of her. She looks at him for a while. Silence. It starts with light caresses, but with each moment her movements become stronger and more intense. She goes on and on, over his head, his nose, his lips, his shoulders, his thighs, and after spending her time with his penis, she finally moves back to his legs and finishes at his feet; she would like him to turn, but it is too tiring to do it for the second time. She knows that this time she will be able to turn him into her pain, her lust, her dreams, her desires...

He dresses slowly, spending a bit too much time with his buttons. Then disappears in the fog of Chongqing – slowly silently and proudly. He could be anyone – a monk, a king, a shop assistant or a real estate agent. He walks till the next crossroad where he leans against an electric pole - the only free left in the whole alley.
At the very end of the day after a small little hotpot, he gets together with his friends in a cellar teahouse where he speaks his mind and plays… Chongqing is a place where a revolution could begin…. he forgets about Blackandwhite……. and when they meet for the next time he will carry frames and clay, not even recognizing that it is her.

Bangbang and Blackandwhite is an exhibition presenting four female and two male artists based in Chongqing – all of different backgrounds, different generations, and employing different techniques.  In this exhibition they are brought together by the bangbang – a special character of Sichuan – and black and white – the color spectrum of their artworks.  Each of the artists has a refined trip of mind to reveal.

Li Xiaoqi finds inspiration for his oil paintings in Chinese literature, discovering Lu Xun’s “blood steamed bread”.
Fu Yuxiang takes out “charming dog”, one of his many animals that have so much to say.
Pang Xuan, after taking a long walk along the street of video, performance and photography, guides a trip in ink calligraphy with the use of a pencil.
Li Wenchun lets you follow her youthful and erotic fantasies where she always playfully finds herself.
Zheng Yu gives us a glimpse into her life’s only series of artwork  - the depiction of a mythological place, located at the spot where the sun rises. She builds it slowly, step by step, with very strict rules for people to enter. If you are lucky you could meet her there - sitting next to Hongyi Fashi.
Li Xiaojing, frame by frame, creates an army of “Lai” characters.

Zane Mellupe, curator ● 17 february 2011
Experiencing the city, expressing the self

Chongqing, the foggy, well-known mountain city in the west of China with its high speed and intense pace of urbanisation is witness to all the realities of a national development policy focussing on economic growth. Geographically, Chongqing is an intersection of the urbanised lifestyles of eastern China and the less developed farming and production based economy of the west of China. The lifestyle there has long been structured around the culture of the riverside port, yet for more than 10 years, rapid urban construction has been overlapping the lifestyle and culture of the ordinary, common people, which is part and parcel of the throes of urban construction and modernisation. City development notably changes not only the surface of the city, it hastens the pace of ruptures in traditional lifestyles and the disappearance of regional culture and traditional lifestyles. A common phenomena, it is easily observed, not easily altered.

Before talking about Chongqing's contemporary art, two points must be made:
1. Art is inseparable from context. Chongqing's distinctive and rich urbanisation offers an incisive and graphic setting for artists to draw from.
2. Art is inseparable from tradition. In a sense, tradition implies style and heritage. Artists from the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute initiated the Sichuan school, a representation style predominantly concerned with the individual experience of the artist as a creative starting point. Exploring the inner experience of the artist, very few of their works addressed wider social themes. This is a direct way to use a private language to express perspectives on culture, forming a rich and highly individual expression. Starting in the '80s with Luo Zhongli's 'Father', other artists of the school were Zhang Xiaogang, Ye Yongqing, Zhou Chunya, He Duoling; in the '90s Chen Wenbo, Feng Zhengjie, Xin Haizhou, Yang Shu, Zhang Xiaotao; and in the '00s Li Duankai, Xiong Yu, Gao Yu and so on, all of whom have somewhat followed in this tradition. In this continuous flowing river of creation, it is clear that external context has been influential in bringing about changes in the focus of the works. From the "native soil" paintings of Luo Zhongli and others, to the "cartoon drawings" of typical city life by younger artists in the early '00s we can see how artists and their form of self-expression are indeed influenced by reality and social change.

The new generation of artists tend to have more clear individual standpoints. In the early '00s, many of Chongqing's artists were employing "cartoon drawing” techniques and expressing quite positive imaginations of city living, whereas now, we can see a lot more direct criticism in their work. In terms of painting language, artists are abandoning the practice of applying broad patches of colour, instead highlighting brushwork and technique, with the use of colour tending to be more personal. Pang Xuan, for example, in the early '00s was producing almost solely video and photography. Important topics of her work were the difficulties of youth and growing up, city and urbanisation, which formed an energetic yet perplexing view of the city. Her current works have a strong tendency to reflect on history and culture: her “Words and Phrases" series, which is a deconstruction of classical texts, creates a cultural dialogue and has very personal qualities. Zheng Yu builds himself a spiritual home called "Yang Valley Village". In this legendary place, where the sun rises each day, Zheng Yu builds herself a spiritual home called "Yang Valley Village". In this legendary place, where the sun rises each day, Zheng Yu uses her brush to create a mountain with villagers, as well as her ideal partner with whom to live with, there. Relative to male artists, the work of female artists tends towards humanisation and is more experience-oriented. Li Wenchun's work takes a very frank look on life, youth, growing up, motherhood, demonstrating life itself. Li Xiaojing connects memory and fantasy, to quietly observe the surrounding vicissitudes. Artistic creation is a process of interaction with external contexts and in the future hopefully we will see artists with more individual and gelivable means of expression.

Ni Kun, curator and Organhaus' executive director (translated by Lauren Gollasch)● 15 february 2011
Q&A between the curator Zane Mellupe and Ni Kun, Organhaus' executive director and curator
Zane Mellupe
What are 10 things that people who are interested in art should know about the Chongqing art scene?
Ni Kun
The Sichuan Fine Arts Institute
Luo Zhongli’s “Father”
Zhang Xiaogang and Ye Yongqing: both graduates of the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute are also lecturers there
Huangjiaoping Graffiti Street
Organhaus Art Space
The Huang Jiaoping drifters
Bangbang
Cartoon drawings
Chongqing has virtually no art galleries
Tank Loft Chongqing Contemporary Art Center and 501 Artspace

ZM
For how long has there existed an art scene in Chongqing?
NK
The art scene is symbiotic with the art institute. Because of the Huangjiaoping art district we have the institute, or perhaps the reverse is true.

ZM
How many people are working there to cater for the art market?
NK
There are around 200 artists in Chongqing

ZM
What is the annual turnover of art businesses (art school and classes) and artwork sales in Chongqing?
NK
I’m not sure

ZM
How has the popularity of the Chinese art scene influenced the number of art students in the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute?
NK
The market has led to a bias in the art world, for example the propensity of artists churning out works to follow trends in the market is a serious problem. However, the good side to this is that the market eliminates these speculators, allowing students with initiative and self-discipline to concentrate on their own work.

ZM
 The Sichuan Fine Arts Institute is surrounded with tuya (graffiti), can you tell us how this area became the biggest graffiti street in China?
NK
The Sichuan art academy is a very important hub for art and art education and the local government decided to capitalize on this resource. But the actual implementation of the project doesn’t follow or capture the freeform spirit of graffiti, which is unfortunate.
In short, it’s an unprofessional result.

ZM
What is the tone of the city of Chongqing and how do Chongqing based artists respond to it?
NK
It’s grey.
Chongqing artists are very moody, and this has to do with not seeing the sun all year round. In terms of use of colour, broad applications of single colour are normal and grey tones appear frequently.

ZM
How would a standard review of a Chongqing art exhibition sound?
NK
It would emphasise self-expression and focus on the individual perspective.
This is a very typical pattern in the Chinese contemporary art sphere.

ZM
What are some clichés associated with Chongqing’s art?
NK
The works of the artists who are representative of the Chongqing art scene are completely praise-worthy, however there is strong pressure for younger artists to break through these styles, so as to avoid repetition and duplication. 

ZM
What would be good to change in the Chongqing art scene?
NK
It needs to become more diversified. Currently Chongqing’s art scene is too uniform.

ZM
How would you describe the taste of a collector of art from Chongqing and do you think Chongqing artists are creating this taste or catering for this taste?

NK
There are certainly artists who are creating works to cater for collectors. Art is a very particular discipline, and this is a subjective topic.

ZM
How would you describe the youngest generation of Chongqing artists?
NK
They have a lot of potential, but they still need to be bolder in their experimentation.

ZM
Which art trends do you think have originated in Chongqing?
NK
Experimental drawing

ZM
 If you could separate Chongqing artists into two groups (such as black and white or mainstream and underground), what would they be?
NK
Ha ha, in China, the mainstream has been acknowledged by the market. However, all the energy comes from those courageous enough to have vision and to continually engage experimental practices.