Reckoning with the Past: Contemporary Chinese Painting
Johnson Tsongzung CHANG/John CLARK/Graeme MURRAY/YAN Shanchun
The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh
‘In the wake of the political repression of Tian’anmen Square in 1989, the depressed social and political climate dampened the enthusiasm for Western-inspired avant-gardism, which had until then, opened new vistas for Chinese intellectuals. The early 1990s saw a growing reaction against the idealism of the 1980s. A fatigue set in, accompanied by a cynical reassessment of present day. Recent years have seen artists look backwards, to understand the present and fill the emotional and psychological vacuum left by the break from the past. This exhibition sets out to explore the main directions this new sensibility has taken, and to contrast it with comparable artistic movements from Taiwan and Hong Kong.’ – Chang Tsong-zung. This is the catalogue for the exhibition ‘Reckoning with the Past’ which opened at the Fruitmarket Gallery in 1996 and toured to New Zealand in 2000. Artists’ biographies and statements, and critical essays offering an insightful study of contemporary Chinese painting are included in this publication.
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