Chinese contemporary artists are extremely
passionate about history. Their spiritual mentality is similar to
the intelligentsia in the Wei-Jin, Southern and Northern Dynasties
Period (A.D. 220-589): dynamic transformation of society goes
with intruding multi-cultural impacts, classical belief is challenged
by the unrest of reality. Intellectuals are cynical, aloof and proud,
filled with nihilism. In today's sentiments on history, classics are
undermined by disbeliefs, contemplative meditation is absent. History
becomes fictitious and subjective addressing immediate problems; it
is a mirror, shedding light on today's social and mental corruptions.
Two of Trilogy-Existence, History & Memory on China's Spiritual
Adventure Today, Amelie Gallery's Mirror of History exhibition
demonstrates subversive disruption of classical Chinese motives by contemporary
T.S. Eliot once said that any poet, if he is to survive as a writer beyond his twenty-fifth year, a sense of history is indispensable to him. Facing with the strong and profound historical burden of China, young Chinese artists' historical value adopts practical tactics. They look at themselves in a subjective mirror of history and search for Golden Bough from heritage as a way to retrieve enlightenment for reality. In Mirror of History exhibition, artist Xu Shuo's works are sharp and ironic, which set the ancient tyrants in the playground of Chinese modern economic battlefield dominated by the rich and the powerful. Yang Tao's swordsman is a pursuer of Zen, who avoids confrontation to reality by retreating to Song dynasty's literary mentality. Female artist Jin SongMin's woodcut borrows an ancient story in Book of Rites to explore the modern paradox of the psychology in gender struggles. Yu Hang's photography utilizes sensual texture to portray woman through the literary works of folklores and ancient fictions.
"A people without history is not redeemed from time" (T.S. Eliot, Little Gidding). China's current situation leads to the result that we cannot settle in peace with history. Heritage is alive, breathing, connected with the body of reality, it is a cure as well as poisons. Amelie Gallery's Mirror of History exhibition reflects the conflict and rebellion between history and today. The participating artists are sensitive and nostalgic; their sentiments turning back are also prophesies looking forward to the future.
Sword Man-West Wind,2006
Acrylic on Canvas,120x150cm
Amelie Gallery, Beijing
www.LongYiBang.com +86 01084599649
798 Art District, No.2 Jiu Xian Qiao Road,
Chao Yang District, Beijing, China.
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