Revelation: You and Me
Hongmei Park Fermentation Art Center, Shenyang
WEI Guangqing 魏光庆
ZHAO Bandi 赵半狄
I have been dreaming of putting on an exhibition for the contemporary artists of the Post-1960 (Perceivably not all of them). They differ from the Post-1950 artists, who are more experienced, reserved and time-tested. They also distinguish themselves from the post-1970 artists, who are shrewd and sensitive to new trends. They swim freely between tradition and modernity. They used to be soaked in Western art, classicalism, modern life and contemporary art, until Mr. Yin Jinan awakens the new generation of artists who observe carefully the modern life and pave their own ways of art, consequently, pioneer in diverse fields. Although “Not all the fish living in the same ocean” (quotation from Haruki Murakami), they do compose the history of contemporary Chinese art if their works would be put together.
Many of the post-1960s have become masters in art. There are comments on them being the generation of good luck, because they were born after the miserable time. As many trying moments as they have experienced through the political movements and ideological trends, that experience enriches their inspiration in the later art production. I believe that their fortune lies in the fact that they grew up alongside the reform and opening era of China, when their inner world has been stirred up, just like the magma that is about to erupt. “We didn’t choose our fate but chosen by it”, the verse from Kafka on the Shore may define the situation most appropriately. There are also remarks: this is a generation who practiced completely, within ten years, the art that has been developed in the West throughout a century. Their pattern-making evolved from 3D to 2D, from figurative to abstract, and their value from surface to inside, from material to spirit. Their art language transforms technically and ideologically over 4 decades. When the post-1960 artists come to the Age of Knowing-the-destiny, their intrinsic gene of Chinese culture is revived, and now they see the world in an insightful and easy-going manner.
Chinese artists born in 1960s are a group with the sense of unexpected crisis. They have acquired solid skills thanks to their educational career in art academies. They had puzzles, struggles even desperations in work and life due to the impact of the changing time. The generation of artists, therefore, have more profound awareness of the nature of life, thus pursue spontaneous art expression based on grounded and extended practice. One may observe from the upcoming exhibition that they are concerned about the relations of human to human, individual to society and human to nature. They are meticulous in their ways of expression by carefully conveying their feelings toward the world and their spiritual destination. Some of them, it’s sad to say, have passed away, who are studying art in the heaven. But those still alive continue their undertakings unswervingly and are doing better. They wander in the art world persistently and never compromise to their physical declination. They observe the world near and far, outside and inside, micro and macro, even in reversed way. All the objective matters are absorbed into their thoughts. They see the community as they do themselves in an anatomic way. And they cut into the soul with art, their surgical knife.
The Post-1960 artists start to voice their ideas in the context of internationalized art language and they are searching for the splendor of humanity in a fickle world. As earthlings, their works express the crisis that humanity is now exposed to and the uncertainty of future. Where we are from, and where we are going? The Post-1960 artists spare no efforts to safeguard the dignity of human art. Take an overview of our lifespan, we have entered the fall and standing in the rose age of art creation. We have weathered faces, and the age that carve the wrinkles on our faces blesses us with the ability to present our pains and gains onto the works. Art becomes the therapy to heal our wounds. This generation of artists know for certain that the planet is ill, SARS, COVID-19. We experienced in person the two pandemic attacks. While combating the epidemics, and coexisting with them, the post-1960s want to rewrite morality with art as their brush. They know what they want – the most valuable matters that worth our lifetime adherence. You can walk your way only after you put on your shoes. Through the eyes of the Post-1960 artists, we see revelation of human nature and that is probably the meaning of this exhibition!
Finally, my gratitude goes to Mr. Yin Jinan, whose academic support is absolutely indispensable for the presentation of this invitational exhibition by the Post-1960 artists.
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