contemporary chinese

level and the structure is going to
discuss some recent trends in art in china and do a
device point that is often used in this area
chinese art and particularly brief period is nineteen eighty-nine
particularly that june fourth nineteen eighty-nine tiananmen square incident out what happened in nineteen eighty-nine it was basically uh… culmination of some kind of um… and tensions that were building in chinese
society adult sea so back up a little bit here in nineteen
seventy six mao ze dong the communist party chairmen
and leader at that china from nineteen forty nine until nineteen seventy six
died and after he died there was a ten a brief moment of a
struggle for power and then down champagne became the next ruler of the current leader of the
communist party and essentially defacto ruler of china done shopping was a
little bit more of a pragmatist the mastectomy and he was it economical liberalize our meeting that
he allowed more foreign investment he allowed and actually his policies of
continued and they’d even gotten since two
thousand really been he he uh… quite some time ago but his
policies have continued to be a place in china to allow more more economic activity uh… especially since the two thousand
sq with this economic liberalization there
was big here you’d of a little bit more intellectual liberalization in china
friends saying about nineteen eighty until it is the movement comedies in nineteen
eighty nine where you have a good number of students and um… young people who
are gathering at university and i’m talking about the idea of
democracy and in beijing in particular the capital city of china underground sensei underground movement
pushing for more democracy pressing for more open society for reform of the
government uh… the start meeting in public if they start having
mast protests in the streets and in beijing in eighty seven eighty eight
particularly when um… and very popular education minister diets and that he had
been a popular kenneth uh… promoter of the idea of more
intellectual freedom in china uh… this movement comes to a head so in the summer this early this spring
and early summer of than in nineteen eighty nine student protesters start
gathering in tiananmen square remember i was mentioning this it if the chinese
class before tiananmen square is this great public
square that is outside of the for dayton city the old imperial palace in beijing it is an important please wear nineteen forty nine when mao tse tung
the communist party got control of the people’s republic that’s where they made
a big announcement it’s a major public gathering space and so you have in the spring and summer of
eighty nine more and more marches and protests that
are promoting the idea of democracy in june june fourth of nineteen eighty-nine this
comes to a head when there’s this massive number of people on the street uh… gathering they have signs they
have banners they’re shouting slogans a group of art students from the local
university maybe a mock-up of the uh… statue of liberty and they called her
the promise of democracy sitting at his giant paper missing version of the statue of liberty that their parading
through the streets the government decides that this is too
much they’ve had too much of this uh… uh… f protest and that they need to do
something about it so they they really sentiments into tenements where too to stop these protesters now the
protesters don’t have any guns they don’t have any weapons there peacefully
protesting adheres quite came inside the reagan at the top is a shot at the end
of the that masses gathered before the confrontation there at the bottom is
a very famous still uh… allowed eight videotape that was rolling live on
c_n_n_ and people were watching this around the
world is that the line of tanks rolling into tiananmen square and there is any
loan student his standing in front of the tanks willing then you know daring them to run
him over and wanting him to see wanting them to stop what ended up happening to that guy
isn’t known aids imitate he you know it is not right over adding we don’t see him get
run over but we don’t know what happened to him and people did get run over and showing
you here in the right the photograph of some people who had
been run over by tanks in the uh… in the melee that ensued when the
government sensitive soldiers to shut down this protest the official members that of people who were injured or killed in
the tiananmen square protest hat varies depends on depending on
whether you talk to you that the red cross or whether you talk to the of
chinese government the chinese government says or or it news sources who were there at
the new york times i think that the official death toll there guess it was
around four hundred dead the uh… pub people’s republic of china
said not merely you know maybe like thirty
people were injured in the protest the red cross statements have very big bear
guesstimate is up to about four thousand people dead were injured in this protest
so inferior public very visible crackdown on student
protests in tiananmen square with a really devastating aftermath this is a big turning point in chinese
society uh… it put an end for a long time to any kind of organized protest
for democracy or any kind of above ground uh… discussing of the currents political and uh… intellectual climate
in china it also was one of those moments that
rocks signers uh… abuses of human rights to
international attention when i teach about this people often ask
you know that she wanted the u_s_ government to you the government really didn’t do much in
reaction to tiananmen square because we had the normalize relations with
china and we had strong diplomatic ties to china i think the u_s_ government
under them the first president bush issued some
kind of statements saying you know we deplore this act but nothing no real
sanctions or anything like happened because uh… that tiananmen square what it did do was idk hi good seems the discourse and in china and so it
became an important spark or an important moment that um…
inspired and change the way that art is dealt with out their own society in chinese art case in point here is this is the early nineties heating called portrait of the artist and his
friends the artist’s name is weak you edmondson that’s a photograph of him there on the
bottom left in there you can see his painting he is eight what is called cynical realists now you
may remember if you were in the chinese class that was talking about socialist
realism this is this um… style of realistic looking p dean that
was inspired in part by the socialist realist painting of the soviet union and was often used as propaganda to loopnet id educate the masses about the glories of
the communist regime in china u_n_ in jenin cynical realist intakes that
vocabulary uh… oil painting and out western-style realism and then puts it to this rather cynical rather critical purpose here you’ve got that everybody in this painting is the
same as the women join right they all have his face they all have that giant kind of grimacing fake looking smilin
ninja u_n_ engine says you know the smile the greatest this is
really uh… you know this expression that captures the egg the essence of he right this kind of pain that people are feeling after
tiananmen square so here it’s the fake smile of cynical of
socialist realism yes everything’s great even if you know every things falling
apart everything’s great i hear they all dharam gesturing and and uh… kind of making fun of the idea uh… them making fun of the idea that everything
is alright everything is great here’s an example of the poster from
nineteen seventy then it would be in the socialist realist i’ll let you a mention
is thing to do with everybody’s smiling
everybody happy their with that enthusiastic slogan
across the bottom line live chairman mao there they are doing in them and gathering where everybody’s holding
up a copy of chairman mao as little red book and even the bed howlett of cynical realism is alluding
to this right gary s uh… color palette of socialist realism in
which read is a very predominant color because of reading is the color of the
communist party here’s another example of socialist
realism and you can see where the synagogue realistic getting their
inspiration this is a nineteen fifties poster and there is on the bright a translation of the
inscription across the bottom turn china into a prosperous rich and
powerful industrialized socialist country under the leadership of the
communist party and chairman now with your smiling hasn’t and standing there with industry in the
background and abundant fruits and vegetables in the foreground this was with ironic about this poster
is it was created during a period called the great leap forward in fifty four in
fifty five when chairman mao commanded that all the peasants who were
farmers should leave their farms and go to work in factories he said the only way we’re going to become a
modern nation is at the everybody pitches in and helps us to
industrialized sounds great and yes it’s probably true
that i needed to lead us realize and modernize however what happened was he
wouldn’t let people work farms he wanted everybody in the
factories and so nobody’s farms what works google rotted in the fields at this in
the c_d_a_ eight period uh… famine in which hundreds of thousands of
people died across the country of china and still you have at disconnect between
what is represented in these very cheerful and insisted a socialist
realist posters and what’s actually going on in the country so this is a
good example of where synagogue realism comes from with those reverses right kind of crazy color palette with everybody gesturing almost madly coming from that background of this
feeling that there’s a disconnect between the rhetoric of the government in the
visual rhetoric of the government and what’s actually happening in society so here’s another example u_n_ engines
untitled this is actually a line of black and white oil painting it’s not a
black-and-white photograph but here again you can see and this is the dead broke in uh… uh… ground there’s actually tiles from
tiananmen square in there they are he and his compatriots policy face of the
same grimmest uh… here unit doing appear in person socialist
realism levinson’s continued to work with this
grimacing figure and to work with eames aob individuality and collective
identity where everybody looks exactly the same everybody’s grimacing the same
etcetera etcetera this is a more recent example of abt sculptural version up you know you might expect to see a group
of workers exercising in tiananmen square under the direction of their
factory leaders who hears this kind of vans cultural version of that uh… all it is that it makes uh… yet is nice poster socialist realist poster there’s
chairman now comrade mao as the greatest marxist-leninist at the present aids and again the same color palette may
give you the sense that this style of the cynical realist are taking a half
after and particularly women shouldn’t so
here’s another one i don’t have a title for this one but it recently obtained by
you we mention and hear the scholars rock series there
and i think this is interesting to you because it’s not only cynical realism
but then he’s also incorporating the kind of history of china for those of you and
the chinese class then you know going back to that those scholar elite the literati of this
seventeenth and eighteenth century who would collect things like scholars rocks
to be these uh… microcosm of the universe here’s our u_n_ mentioned uh… again and it does uh… recent sculptural group where
you’ve got these figures that are in this um… collective kind
of socialist realist you happy workers postures doing exercises everybody’s
smiling and grimacing and again at the same kind of that
themes of collective versus individual identity uh… relationship between the person in the
state and all that is sort of implied in here interestingly is one of his
contemporary terra cotta warriors this is a recent to see the last couple of
years again it’s a figure of them factory worker who’s may be doing
stretches into admitting that collective exercise session but it also is in the
title referencing back too that pasti china’s m art mister cast in particular to deep terra cotta army at the first emperor of china dating
back two black t ten pcs and here’s another example at sea
contemporary terra cotta warriors they’re not terra cotta their actually
cast bronze but the title is to contemporary terra cotta warriors
vacancy all in the same pose in this sort of new workers exercising
in the square posture uh… grimacing and accessories skis be
cynical realist fairness and men that multitude of them referencing back
to the whole history and chinese art interns
civilization and there’s just a few that terra cotta warriors of the first-ever
just to remind you of what it is that u_n_ agenda is referring back to you and he’s also done a series that engages
with the history of western hard sell you a mentions the pulp from nineteen
ninety seven at if you’re in contemporary art class
you should recognize this as a reference to you and to take up not only
on diego velazquez day and seventeenth-century painter but also of
course frances speaking needed his uh… figure with me eighteen nineteen fifty four women jen also does this kind of uh…
engages with the dialogue about the history of western hardness makes a
really opposed modernist in the very candid you know typical western tradition here is uh… girl beating a recollect
reading a letter by open window where he has painting a copy of them an the premier painting in which the only thing that he’s
changed his he’s left out the figure of the girls so you get the setting you get
the fruit on that uh… carpet in the foreground you get the reflection that
second skull like look to it in the window but the girl herself has been taken out so here again he’s ripping up uh… our
historical tradition in this case the weston seventy east and there’s the original girl reading a
letter by an open window cleaner on from there uh… just to give you a sense of what
it is the thing that women’s tennis referencing that painting he’s also
correct that shelling not only be knows the history of art and in the west as well as the east
fifth and also that he’s got the technical chops team do a copy of off of
the big premier painting okay said also synagogue i was in any way manjunath
another artist that i want you to look at and uh… i should mention that there
are simple links to websites invent videos
of some of these artists tearing this week says lecture section now this is shipping zip up from the sky
this is it installation and he’s done in multiple
locations now where you can see their arm laid on the ground there is text across the back we will all of this an
exhibit there are is texted written are printed
on b seats that are hanging from the sky the interesting thing about book from
the sky and this is an installation achieving originally did in nineteen
eighty eight in beijing in an important contemporary show that was uh… one of the places where i was a and show
of contemporary artists in beijing that was
one of the places where this talked about democracy was really getting
started and in fact this show this show that this was originally shown in was
shut down by the chinese government because of that very reason siblings but from the sky it’s kind of a conceptual installation
peace it is uh… although wood block print it a couple thousand characters that
seething himself design the characters looked like
chinese characters however they are meaningless
how he just megan parke so although you have and melted to give tax here to look at none of them are really legible and shipping actually continues to do
work and got away from this week’s uh… lecture sir from this from this week’s at folder that will take you to a reason
exhibition needed for com book from the ground in which he’s trying to come up
with the universal language of symbols it’s a really interesting interactive
project and this is an earlier example where he’s working with language and if you to libya of language
or is in communication this is another view of a different
version of books in the sky this is uh… have but from the sky being
installed in cleveland or as it was installed in cleveland australia they have any close-ups of the
individual characters but it’s again it’s a couple dozen characters attacks are nonsense characters even though they
look like they should be lifted and that there is there not now there’s a nice close-up of one of
the books in books for them this guy again design of the characters
he created out of that secret down he put them all together so it’s a pretty
labor intensive process ended there really referencing the history of chinese
culture in chinese writing goes back to the two thousand species eat uh… binding and printing go back to the
seven or eight hundreds in china so amin it’s a long tradition here but then
again although there’s a slight tradition it’s
inscrutable unreadable and this is in some ways meant to be a comment on
the way that culture and tradition had been destroyed during the the great leap
forward in particularly the cultural revolution and she beings dad had been re-educated during the cultural
revolution so there’s a sort of interesting commentary going on here uh… there’s no deal but from the sky and there’s not a viewpoint of the books
were again you can see it looks like a real book it looks like the jet
characters although they’re not and assistance that some shots of book
from the ground and that again and he begged her to go
to the website for book for the graphic you can play around with all the symbols
there uh… ok soc with another example of a reaction to
tiananmen square and kind of recent contemporary art in china one blondie the great castigated series this is
coca-cola from nineteen eighty-three where again he seems to have been looking at the
west he seems to have been looking at art from uh… the pop art movement in
this case of particularly guys like andy warhol but he isn’t doing a uh… kind of red not only on the west
but also on uh… political propaganda posters of
socialist realism that you would typically find in china with those three workers with
the color scheme their all and that you know that’s very typical worker i cannot
repeat astron forearm in the big hands uh… that being combined with that it advertising
media in there they seem to be stepping into that uh… stepping into that logo this is a m kind of posts tiananmen art that gets the nickname uh… kadhi art and because it incorporates western advertising uh… sometimes it’s called political pop art
has flopped gotti art or political pop art at one point he is that sorry for most practitioner of this there’s no example more recent two
thousand five there you can see the gag holding the little red book that
typical workers hoping samples right gesturing in your typical socialist
realist fashion and combined with the porch advertising logo and here’s another example political
proper karate art and she way this is them doesn’t actually reminds me a little bit
for those of you contemporary of the artist jeff lengths you know and again cult political art or political popper dadi r kadhi because
it’s a like colorful them and cheesy looking right so there’s a little red book i’m todd diet let well i’ll talk with the money
on the body concede little red book which is a little he’s here to see it is
the learn but his chairman males but it
seems that every chinese school kid would get during the uh… years of the
cultural revolution that would be you know you have to memorize up scenes of
chairman mao could be reduced opened up a little bed and flowers so it’s kind of that lekin knick-knacks that your grandma my
keeping her cabinet you know so it’s a uh… it’s a what cici them pop culture little art inspiration that’s being used here too that kind of make a commentary on that
that presence of little red book in people’s lives and hear from the little red book series this is a hundred
ninety two books this is a sculpture with all these teeny bit there
really teeny tiny little little read books that have been piled up here into
this at this culture again it reminds me a little bit of jeff who’s you know it’s a found object or
them turned into sculpture uh… ok cylinder more recent example of and i would just
say body art is this spam there’s a whole series of these vincent group of three brothers who
trained at at at at the university in inserted graphic design the well
brothers and this is there isle of tiananmen square pacing uh… number twenty nine mississippi makes media work in which they have incorporated western
advertising traditional socialist realist propaganda
imagery like tiananmen square little art advertising uh… in from
sach hai knees perspective those chubby little babies are often found on these
new year’s cards and decorations chubby babies are sign of good luck and so you know that the new year you always
see left a little red babies uh…
especially on her bed a little web savvy babycenter red background read traditionally is actually a lucky color
in china as well as that being the color of the communist party during that uh… non-communist here and here you can see b_-two chevy babies are left him in
square they’re standing in front of a little
tiny tenement square and they’re holding up a giant burger right at giant what is
that double whopper mhm i don’t know burger king or mcdonald’s it’s at uh… melding of these different i
cannot griffey’s into this certain new form here are some examples of these chubby
newyear babies i was talking about so these are the kind of good luck uh… me
a little pieper decorations that you would find around the time the chinese
new year uh… and produced you know
mass-produced all over china immedi go to a chinese restaurant here
you can buy them during the year taking low art at the east and west and
uh… you know socialist realist art and melding them
all together into this kind of new format it’s recent series they did in two
thousand six two thousand seven is called home welcome to the famous brands
of the world in other words welcome admin came as a double meaning right
welcoming them to china also um… telling may be telling chinese people
hey balkan to having these famous brand so here you got the chevy babies riding
a coca-cola light those dad one writing a coca-cola like
uh… since basically diet coke welding a burger and then the two chevy babies writing
goldfish again assemble of good luck for the new year in this isn’t an actual at produced by
coca-cola chinese new year poster where you’ve got rooster for the year the research made out of culkin’s and then of course
the red background uh… and you could just make up for the coca cola but that
they’re at the bottom of that picture i mean again really fusing and playing with those boundaries
and i think for those of you were taking the
contemporary classic and see others assertive you know corollary to what’s going on in the west
in the past few years as well in the work at the law brothers with
this melding of high and low with that use of
historical uh… references with the kind of playing with boundaries in the
usa kits that um… seem very familiar to step that we put
that in the west as well and there’s a statue from the world
famous brand series this one card mining probe for happiness
reasons and he recover more of these uh… you
know coca-cola burgers figuring very prominently so and lots of chevy babies from the world brothers there i’m
elected like because you can see tiananmen square at the bottom and then
even in the bottom center you can see a poster of chairman mao there and here again more uh… welcome to the
world famous brand series and that just one more in this case
siemens is the company that speed celebrated and then you got restricted dragon signs
of gridlock and so i hope you get a sense here but
the low brothers are all about and i think that look rather is happy uh… so here’s that’s part of their
prints and then finally i’ll move wanna talk
about an artist is also become really prominent on the scene in their seven uh… images at of him you’d see that gambling from this week that this past year he had a
retrospective at the guggenheim museum in new york that was called i want to
believe and its featured some of his performance says some of its
installations from the last twenty years anti-abortion on has worked with gunpowder and again this is you know
going back to you and me that chinese invented gunpowder in the night century
services you know using it historic medium and i’ve been using the
idea of cns using the idea of randomness adhere for example in his gunpowder
drawings this is called ron transient rainbow this is literally using uh… using fed last patterns from and
shooting at gun gunpowder to create an image found object it’s mechanically obsessed
assisted it’s uh… spontaneous you know it’s keeping the
control out of the hands of the hardest uh… and using that medium sorry in using the medium of gunpowder
and then also being sort of historically uh… tight to china adhere this is it proposal for a peace
that he actually did in valencia spain where he was going to have a series of timed explosions of gunpowder to create
this rainbow shape thirty-seconds over around the city of
valencia and it would be a time limit it kind of peace so again has some resonance with things that
we’ve seen going on in the west as well with the idea about that one time only piece you know something that’s meant to
be seen briefly uh… setting depends also record
site-specific and something that you can only really
recapture through filled stills and photographs of film uh… and it if you got a wet you can actually
see that actual uh… event has it was taped isn’t happening palencia spain this by the way it was a little bit
touch-and-go they hit whether he was actually going to get to do it or not
because he had planned to do it at the end it was going to be scheduled
and then and that you may remember this a few years ago then your word bombings on trains in the drain and uh… city in central spain
south-central spain at the largest cities believe in so people had been you know had started out
the email this to be in a great inspiration agree project but
then that idea of gunpowder exploiting a city to
panic kind of sinister turn after that uh… trained by means in madrid and happened what within six months or so after nine
eleven uh… so eventually project did go through and
and i did get perform but he has continued to deal with question agreed
to continue to deal with the modern political situation in works
like this this is that inopportune that originally created two thousand
four was was reinstalled because behind going up the central tala or the central
eighteen of the guggenheim where as you can see it says ellen thanks mid-eighties chevy think that he’s got
several of them and then did the there their arranged as if you’re looking at
stills from the film car is kind of flipping in rolling in
space inspect these l_e_d_ uh… light sticks coming out of it that colors and look a little bit like maybe uh… fireworks again something that check the chinese
infected or can look like cars exploding and of course in the modern world with that concerns
about terrorism and with the car bombs that we’ve read about all the time in
the iraq war at this has taken on a couple of different
variations of armenians you can see a little bit of what this probably what
this looks like in person if you go to the you tube uh… videos that i have
posted for this week so you can see a little bit of this thing invoicing uh… i think it its better in person than it is instills
unfortunately that doesn’t give you a little bit of an idea of what it looks
like there’s a close up of one of the cars and walking a social etsy so there’s
kind of go time to put everything in one of them are artists is a photographer
and performance artist i want to briefly mention who is also dealing with sir you know political issues in china and is that
example of that kind of stuff coming out of time in recent years son one uses them documents of performance he did in
ninety four cult twelve square meters and um… this is a photograph of the proof of the artist
himself what he is done here is he has stripped
naked in covered himself in honey and he sat in a public toilet in a very poor part of the city of
teaching in and at the center for twelve hours and during that time he sat there as you
can imagine and their filthy public toilet need to have got covered in bugs and then after that period of time did
he say after you sat there for a while uh… then he walked from the toilets to
nearby lake and walked into the lake to rid himself off as online has said that this performance was to dry intention to that flight of that residents of poorer parts of beijing uh… adversely that sort of inadequate public
sanitation and he’s also said that this was
friendly too uh… practice in the chinese government
that’s still seems to go on and that is it means is a notorious practice right
that that one-child policy in china which says that essentially all couples
are limited to having one child and this has been a policy that’s been
in place for i think thirty gears now indeed has lead in one way it’s led to actually
some interesting in in did up-and-coming generation of
youngsters you know this kindergarten classes now have these incredible
imbalances where you have thirty boys and one girl in a classroom it’s led to young men in their twenties are now
leaving china and going to africa to look for whites to ’cause there aren’t
enough young women around to mary habitat set aside the the thing that he was
actually concerned about his exam protesting are says he’s protesting in
this piece is that policy forced abortions has taken place in china where um… it
eight woman has had one baby and gets pregnant again unless you can afford to pay for a special license exemptions so that
you can have more than one child um… that government can foresee to
have uh… an abortion or force you to be sterilized and therefore stories about this
happening where people would literally be taking physically to u_n_
clinic in have this done i don’t want it horror stories about china but this is
what’s not someone is protesting in his piece now okay so performance art politically engaged performance i got
something that we’ve also seen in the western at something that is the kind of
newt they’re not new but at at trend that has
been uh… developing the last fifteen years in
china as well and here’s another document of a
performance piece john wind went back to the village where he grew up and uh… engage the citizens of the
pillaging this piece which he called to raise the water level in a fish pond out where he would only had all the men
and boys of the village walking to u_s_ uh… a local time with the idea that a everybody in m if all these people got
into the water at the same time there would be enough displacement of water
that it would raise the level of the water and at this time to symbolize the idea that we are all
connected that we are all matter that we all make a difference is that this is just a document from to
raise the water level at this time and again there’s a little video that
talks a little bit about some performance artist in china particularly
sideline a typo time uh… that i recommend that you watch
just to get a little bit of a sense of um… what these guys are doing and what
you’re thinking about

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