In conjunction with the gallery’s current exhibit, China Then and Now, the Gallery Manager will be leading a walkthrough of the exhibit on September 2nd at 1pm. She will start by giving an introduction to contemporary Chinese art and then she will provide context for the paintings in the exhibition.
China Then and Now is a group exhibition featuring recent works by Xu Yong Kang, Zhang Lin, and Liu Ting Ting. In their paintings, the artists attempt to reconcile the past in order to come to terms with China’s current condition. The exhibit will run August 19 – October 14, 2017.
During the Cultural Revolution, Mao Zedong encouraged young people to focus on the collective rather than their individual identity. He also ordered the destruction of the Four Olds, including Old Customs, Old Culture, Old Habits, and Old Ideas. As a result, many historical buildings and ancient relics were destroyed. In their paintings, Xu Yong Kang and Zhang Lin attempt to come to terms with these policies and how they have affected present-day China. After the end of the Cultural Revolution, Deng Xiaoping announced a “one child policy” to reduce population growth in 1979. Liu Ting Ting’s oeuvre depicts only children that result from the one child policy. The policy was phased out starting in 2015; however, the effects of the one child policy still have vast social implications for youth in China. The artists in this exhibit look back at the past with a critical eye and draw comparisons between China’s past and present. Some of the themes presented include a shift from collective to individual mentality, a profound loss of traditional culture, and the effects of past policies on young people in China today.