"In their 40's"

works by 8 Shanghai artists (Ding Yi, Hu Jieming, Ji Wenyu, Pu Jie, Shi Yong, Xue Song, Zhang Enli, Zhou TIehai)

ShanghART H-Space, Bldg 18, Nr. 50 Moganshan Rd. May 25 - July 15, 2005

Ding Yi 1982   Ding Yi 2005  


Shi Yong 1990   Shi Yong 2004

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Hu Jieming 1994   Hu Jieming 2002  


Zhou Tiehai 2000   Zhou Tiehai 2005


The exhibition features recent works by 8 Shanghai artists side by side with sample of works the same artists created 10 to 20 years ago.

Artists in their 40's are a unique group in China. Many of the best paintings created today in China are from artists of this generation. Born shortly before the Cultural Revolution, they grew up in the 'old China’, then entered the re-opened art academies, got confronted the possibilities of contemporary art in the experimental times of the 80's and after graduation they found themselves in Deng Xiaoping's new China.

The following 25 years of enormous change in China covered their artistic life. Being the generation 'grown up in the old, but living in the new China' their art deals often with meaning, with content, deals with all the changes and contradictions they witnessed.

Their work is also characterized by a rigorous search for individuality, for an own position, away from a bigger conformity. This exhibition will be centered around artist living and working Shanghai, a city which seems to fosters especially well this kind of innovation and artistic individuality . The 8 artists of the exhibition were trained in art academies, mostly in classical oil painting. But then they went different ways developing the artistic possibilities: while some paint and still enjoy the brush (e.g. Zhang Enli); some are good painter, but are - in a time of computer processed images - not so proud of it anymore (Ji Wenyu); other developed the painting language further (e.g. Ding Yi with his almost obsessive abstraction, or Xue Song, who recycles earlier images with collage); other moved far away from painting into the digital possibilities (e.g. Shi Yong, Hu Jieming); thinking even further about the possibilities of painting, Zhou Tiehai, who experimented with the computer and digital art ten years ago, doesn't paint anymore but has a studio with people painting (airbrushing) for him perfect paintings.