GROUP SHOW OF CHINESE FILM, VIDEO & INSTALLATION ART
Newcastle upon Tyne | Gateshead, February 6 –10 2008
BFI Southbank, London, July 22 – 28 2008
Curators team: Keri Elmsly, Keith Whittle, Pauline Doutreluingne, Jian Jiang
As the new economic model of China surges forward, the individual is finding a new place in The People’s Republic. Collective responsibility has given way to individual gain, and for some enjoying the material benefits of the past 2 decades following The Four “Modernisations” has become central to the notion of the ‘self’ in contemporary Chinese society, one where the ideals of personal expression and individuality are taking precedent.
The rise of the individual is no better exemplified than in the way in which contemporary Chinese artists live and work, and as the gaze of both public and private worlds focuses in on the Chinese success story. European culture is increasingly looking to artists to gain insight into the significance of these changes, and to better understand the degree to which they themselves value such change beyond the clichés and hype currently surrounding their country’s growing industrial, political, and cultural prominence. All of the works selected for THERE IS NO I IN TEAM capture a distinct vision of contemporary China, whilst also reflecting on how artists’ lives and practices have developed and been informed by their new cultural surroundings in China.
Taking its title from an American motivational statement used to encourage people to abandon their own ego and self so as to be an effective part of the team, the project has been curated by a ‘team’ of European and Chinese curators, each bringing a unique cultural viewpoint to its theme, whilst also sharing firsthand their knowledge of contemporary China and its rapidly expanding arts scene, in all its cross-disciplinary nature and differing methods of representation.
THERE IS NO I IN TEAM installed video art in public space and screened artist’s films, videos, and animation that explored the role of the individual in China today. The programme aimed to increase awareness in Europe of contemporary Chinese art practices and many of the artists were being presented for the first time in the UK. Three of the artists (Hung Keung, Sheng Jie and Meiya Lin) and the full curatorial team were in Newcastle for the opening event, and ISIS Arts hosted a series of artists talks over the course of the four day exhibition. In cooperation with Newcastle City Council, this programme was a part of the EAST’08, a world-class celebration of contemporary Asian culture in Newcastle-Gateshead.
Jiang Zhi “Onward! Onward! Onward!: The Altar of Progress” (2006)
Location: Civic Centre, (outdoor projection) Barras Bridge Newcastle upon Tyne
Hung Keung and imhk lab “Bloated City | Skinny Language” (2007)
Location: BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
Sheng Jie “PUSH” (2006)
Location: Monument Mall, Newcastle
Xu Huijing “The Earth, The Human Being” (2007)
Location: Bath Lane, Newcastle
ARTIST FILM AND VIDEO PROGRAMME
A compilation programme of new film and video works from China, including works by Gao Yu, Meiya Lin and Kuang Yu Tsui.
A selection of animations from Independent Short Film and Video Awards, Hong Kong.