Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Chinese Art in the news

Art in the news from

A painting by Liu Xiaodong sold in November for $2.7 million, shattering the record set by Zhang Xiaogang to become the most expensive Chinese contemporary art work ever sold at auction. The painting, "Three Gorges:Newly displaced Population," was sold to a Singapore collector in 2005. But the piece was put up for auction and the Chinese Poly auction house sold it today. The buyer was Zhang Lan, the founder of the South Beauty chain of expensive Chinese restaurants.

A conference called“The Reality and Dream of Chinese Contemporary Art” was held on November 17 at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. Artists Liu Xiaodong, Xia Xing, Cui Xiuwen and the critics Yi Jinna, Zhao Li, Yu Ding and Feng Boyi discussed the topic “Can artists create artworks freely when they live in the market”drew lots of attention from the audience.

The Shanghai Art Fair arranged 2000 square meters space for 50 Young Chinese Contemporary Artists under 35 years old. Ma Liang, Han Zijian, Zhanghua, Xiang Qinghua, Zhou Jianhua, Liang Haopeng and Shen Na attended this special exhibition.

Zhai Mo, a 35-year-old abstract artist, will set out alone by sailboat from Shanghai for his around-the-globe voyage on January 1, 2007. His press conference was held at Chang An Club in Beijing last month. Zhai is hoping to become the first Chinese to travel around –the globe by sailboat.

Gu Ya, A 32-year-old woman from Yi Liang village in Yunnan Province, has created more than one thousand abstract pen–and-ink paintings in past three years, but she was only educated as high school level and never received art training. When asked to explain the meaning behind her images, Ms. Gu spoke in a language no one was able to decipher. The artist strange art and language has drawn enormous coverage from the media and on the internet. Now, CCTV – the national television network – plans an interview in the hopes of figuring out what this woman is saying and drawing.

Now in his 80s, famous Chinese abstract artist Zhao Wuji, who lives in Paris, was named last month an honorary professor of Fudan University. Five of his traditional art works have recently sold at auction for over $1 million, the highest being a 1958 composition that sold for $3.1 million – the highest price ever fetched by a living artist in China. Among contemporary artists, Liu Xiaodonghas sold for the highest price.

“Visible-Invisible”Chinese abstract painting exhibition was opened in One Moon Art Gallery which was located on Beijing Ditan Park on Dec. 2. Based on this exhibition, the seminar named “Chinese abstract painting” was held on Dec. 3. The artists of the exhibition were Chen Ruobing, Li Yang, Lin Yan, Tan Ping, Tang Kaizhi, Wang Guangle, Xu Hongming, Zhang Fan, Zhou Yangming.And the attendees of the seminar were: Gao Minglu, He Guiyan, Huang Du, Lei Hong, Li Xu, Liu Libing, Shao Yiyang, Sheng Wei, Wang Dunting, Wang Luyan, Wang Nanming, Wang Xiaojian, Zhu Jinshi, Zhu Qingsheng, Zhao Xun.

Christie's completed a record breaking auction of 20th Century Chinese art today with sales of $67.9 million worth of Asian contemporary and 20th century Chinese art works. Zhang Xiaogang's 1993 work, "Tiananmen Square," sold for $2.3 million, the second highest price ever paid for a work by a Chinese avant garde artist. Zhang Xiaogang had another work sell for $2.3 million and two other paintings sell for close to $1 million, making him easily the most sought after Chinese contemporary artist. Also, Yue Minjun's 1993 piece, "Kites," sold for $962,000 -- a record for a work by the artist. And a Zeng Fanzhi piece, "Mask 1999 No. 3," sold for 816,400 -- a record for the artist.

Two works by Chinese contemporary artists were banned from the Shanghai Art Fair held this week at the ShanghaiMART. The works were by Huang Rui and Cang Xin. The Cang Xin work portrayed him licking a Mao figurine. The works were being shown by the Hong Kong gallery 10 Chancery Lane. The gallery's other images -- including photographs of Zhang Huan and Ma Liuming undressing and standing naked with a large group of artists and other people -- were not taken down.

The latest issue of Time magazine features an article about the boom in Chinese contemporary art. The article, by Simon Elegant, is called "The Great China Sale," and it explains how hot the art market is right now. The article also mentions that Christie's auction in New York last week, one of Zhang Xiaogang's paintings sold for $1.36 million. The article also says that the British collector Charles Saatchi paid $1.5 million at a London auction for another piece by Zhang Xiaogang.

A man calling himself the “Yanan Clay Sculpture King,”Wang Wenhai, has accused the well-known Beijing sculptor Sui Jianguo, who is the professor of Central Academy of Fine Arts, of violating the copyright by creating a sculpture called Sleeping Chairman Mao. Wang, who worked in the Revolutionary Museum in Yan'an, the central province of Shaanxi, has devoted much of his life to creating sculptures of Mal. In 2002, Wang said he created a sculpture of Mao sleeping. Mr. Wang,who says Mao is his hero, also say Sui Jianguo's Mao in his work "Nightmare," also depicts Mao as the devil. Wang told one Chinese newspaper he was so angry about the image he fainted. This case was heard at a court in Beijing Chaoyang District People Court on November 21 2006. No word yet on the verdict.

In 2006 Taipei Biennale, the young artist from Guangzhou, Cao Fei, created what is being called her National Father project. As a curator, Cao Fei planned the whole sculpture solo exhibition for her father, the sculptor Cao Chongen. At the exhibition, she exhibited six small bronze sculptures of the famous Chinese leader Sun Yat Sen in his different time such as youngster Sun Yat Sen, the Great President, Great Marshal, etc. Cao Chongen, Cao Fei’s father, created many of the Sun Yat Sen sculptures that are now displayed in China.

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