curated by Felicia Herrschaft
"Double Happiness", an art exhibition curated by Felicia Herrschaft and Julia Zhang, offers rare insight into the contemporary Chinese art scene. The exhibition takes place from October 11 to 15, 2009 and coincides with the Frankfurt Book Fair.
The artists whose works will be shown at the exhibition hail mainly from China. Their oeuvre deals with the myriad symptoms of capitalism and globalization in a radically changing environment. "DoubleHappiness" is a traditional Chinese trope celebrating the coincidence of marriage (the consummation of love and family unity) with promotion in one's career. It also happens to be the name of a popular Chinese cigarette brandproduced in the Guangzhou No.2 Cigarette Factory. In today's China, market liberalism under socialistconditions and Confucianism form a new alliance that makes possible unprecedented personal and political freedom fueled by unlimited purchasing power. In the “Double Happiness” of the exhibition’s title, tradition and capitalism become strange bedfellows through the act of consumption.
The exhibition at Leonhardi Kulturprojekte in Karben near Frankfurt will showcase works that deal with China's rising capitalism and the notion of “happiness” in contemporary China filtered through the lens ofartists and members of the Chinese society at large. “Double Happiness” was developed by curator and artsociologist Felicia Herrschaft in close collaboration with art sociologist Julia Zhang. Julia Zhang receivedher PhD from Yale University and is currently teaching at Rice University. She is the author of “Contested Modernity: The Emergence of the Contemporary Chinese Art World and Its Struggle for Meaning 1990 -2008,” a forthcoming book that examines the transition from a largely pre-market politically dissident avantgardeart world to the current hyper-commercialized contemporary one in China. The exhibition will featurea lecture by Julia Zhang devoted to artistic identity and community in the Post-1989 Beijing contemporary art world.