Shanghai Biennale is one of the biggest art events in China, thousands of foreign art buyers coming to the city fishing for the best Chinese art this week. Most of them are like glamorous version of stock brokers, but without them most of the Chinese artists possibly will end up selling Chinese Big Issues and China will forever be a country of making products instead of creating. After spending the last week running around opening parties every night, it is time to show some of my favorites.
Butterfly Dream @ Shanghai MOCA
Shanghai MOCA has been really kind and supportive to us, especially Alicia who created the Art Lab + Diana Freundi, one of the museum curators for the exhibition “ Butterfly Dream”. The idea of the exhibition is to represent the transformation of Chinese contemporary art. “Like suddenly waking from a dream, China’s entrance onto the scene was overnight”. Well that’s like most things in China, but has Chinese art really transformed into something new or it simply a renaissance of an already established culture? When I first arrived in Shanghai and partnered in the Da>Space gallery, it took me a month or so to figure out Graffiti art is dead in China, or it could never be born. It’s taking me few years to start to understand Chinese art and now I think it is finally going somewhere new and different.
Baby is a popular subject for this show… some does it better than others. this device made me think of the in the animation tower in Studio Ghibli Museum (Tokyo).
- This reminded me of a project I did when I was doing my MA back in London, called “Suffer for Beauty”. I’m happily suffering, I can wear mini skirt in the snow, but for sure these Bonzai thinks otherwise!!
- Lee Tzu-Hsun, one of my favorite installation artists. He often product large scale surreal mechanical toys that evoke fantasies… Kaws x Yue Ming Jun @ Design Republic
- So we all know Kaws, and we should know Yue Min Jun (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yue_Minjun) thanks to Zhendai Moma and PPaper these great artists have worked together on this fun project. Our friend Echo curated the art toy show opening at the Design Republic (http://www.thedesignrepublic.com)) this week. It is not the first time we see art toy/urban collectibles in nice designer shops, but seeing the infamous Kaws signatures on one of the most sort-after Chinese artist character is fresh!
- “I know you know it” Ikumi Nagasawa The Foundry Gallery is a smaller gallery deep in the Jin An district of Shanghai, the week of Biennale, instead of showing some mediocre Chinese artists work to suit the western buyers taste, their curator Office 339 decided to introduce the talented Japanese artists Ikumi Nagasawa ‘s first show “I know you know it”.
- Ikumi’s works have a strong sense of sorrow, isolation and surrealism beneath the cute character and childish colours. In Ikumi’s own words “Wanna love but don’t know how to, wanna get close but keep distance”.
- Few glasses of wine and Ikumi is calm with sleepy eyes, she’s very much alike with the characters in her paintings. I see a bit of myself too, a lonely child at heart.
- Part II To be continue…