Exhibiting Experimental Art in China
The David&Alfred Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago
In this book, Wu Hung raises timely questions about artistic freedom and censorship. In the Smart Museum's exhibition “Canceled: Exhibiting Experimental Art in China", Wu uses the government's cancellation of the exhibition “It's Me” (Beijing, 1998) to anchor his analysis of the myriad problems facing contemporary Chinese artists and curators in their struggle to exhibit experimental art. During this time of rapid change in mainland China, artists and curators are seeking new ways to show work, and finding new allies, patrons and audiences. They are investigating ways to respond to official antagonism, to realize the potential of experimental art in the public sphere, and to maintain the independence of this art in an increasingly commercialized society. Wu addresses these issues through a survey of current exhibition practices, a discussion of the Smart Museum exhibition, a case study of “It's Me”, and a rich collection of primary materials from eleven recent exhibitions. By introducing readers to the complex milieu of experimental artists and curators in China, Wu makes a major contribution to the growing scholarship on contemporary Chinese culture.
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