Sunday, August 26, 2007

EXHIBITION: NET, curated by Wu Hung

For Immediate Release
September 1, 2007

EXHIBITION: NET, curated by Wu Hung

DATES: Sept 20 – Nov 3, 2007

Seven years after the opening of Chambers Fine Art in New York in 2000,
Christophe W. Mao is pleased to announce the opening of Chambers Fine
Art in Beijing on September 20th. Opening at a time when the interest
in contemporary Chinese was becoming an international phenomenon,
Chambers Fine Art became one of the primary showcases for the work of a
wide range of Chinese artists in the United States. As the art world
has become increasingly globalized in the last seven years, the
significance of Beijing as a cultural and artistic center has grown
enormously, leading to the decision to open a gallery there.

The striking new gallery, designed by Ai Weiwei is located in the Cao
Changdi district, a choice location which is rapidly becoming one of
the major centers for contemporary art in Beijing. The first exhibition
to be held in the new space, Net: Reimiganing Space, Time and Culture
is organized by Wu Hung, who has served as chief curator for many of
the biennials held in China and South Korea including the Shanghai
Biennale (2000) and the Gwangju Biennial (2006) and influential
exhibitions held in the United States and Great Britain (Between Past
and Future: New Photography and Video in China, 2004).

Wu Hung's first association with Chambers Fine Art began in 2000 with
First Encounter: Lu Shengzhong. For the current exhibition which brings
together specially commissioned works by seventeen artists associated
with Chambers Fine Art, Wu Hung has investigated the concept of a "net"
which "transcends any given time of space, history and region,
specificity and abstraction. At the same time it also inhabits any
given time and space, history and region, specificity and abstraction."
The meanings of the word range from the simple fishing net to Laozi's
use of the word as a political metaphor, and continue into the present
day with the omnipresence of the internet. As Wu Hung points out: "To
modern and contemporary artists, the "net" has become a favorite
subject of their work, mainly because this image allows them to explore
the connectivity and fluidity between the phenomenal world and the
conceptual world… Because of the complexity of this concept, the show
is expected to address many issues, from history and culture to its
status as a fundamental image."

Included in the exhibition are works by Ai Weiwei, He Yunchang, Hong
Hao, Hong Lei, Lu Shengzhong, Qiu Zhujie, Rong Rong, Shi Jinsong, Song
Dong, Wang Jianwei, Wang Tiande, Wu Jian'an, Yin Xiuzhen, Yu Hong, Zhan
Wang, Zhang Peili, Zheng Guogu. Representing several generations, the
selected are notably diverse stylistically and in the nature of their
relationship to the overpowering presence of the culture of classical
China. Their attitude to the massive transformation of Chinese society
in the last two decades, unparalleled in history, also ranges from
outright rejection to enthusiastic acceptance.

In the various phases of his development, Ai Weiwei has attempted to
emulate the achievements of classical art, on occasion to rescue it and
to demolish it altogether. Wang Tiande, Qiu Zhijie and Zheng Guogu have
turned to calligraphy to examine how it might become something other
than an antiquarian pursuit. Lu Shengzhong and Wu Jian'an have delved
deeply into the traditional world of Chinese paper-cut and have turned
away from the face of contemporary China. For Zhang Peili in his
photographic works, and for the searching Realist paintings of Yu Hong,
on the other hand, it is life as it is lived today that is of primary
importance. Song Dong and Yin Xiuzhen have used video, performance and
installation in their investigation of personal and social issues. Rong
Rong, Hong Hao and Hong Lei have used the contemporary medium of
photography as a means of creating haunting pictorial illusions while
Wang Jianwei and Zhang Peili have made major contributions in the field
of video. The disturbing performances of He Yunchang, one of which will
take place during the opening, in which he frequently puts himself in
situations of extreme discomfort or even danger, contrast with the
steely perfection of the sculpture of Shi Jinsong in which the element
of risk is an essential part of its appeal.

Christophe W. Mao has remarked: "It has been a rewarding experience
for me over the past seven years to work with this group of artists,
all great individualists unmoved by trends and what is currently in
vogue. Finally - and thanks to Wu Hung - I will be able to see what it
is that attracted me to them in the first place. Installed in the new
gallery their works will speak to each other and I will be able to see
not only what unites artists with similar interests but also artists at
the other end of the artistic spectrum from each other. Is there any
connection between the performances of He Yunchang and the sculptures
of Shi Jinsong and Zhan Wang. Or between the paper- cuts of Lu
Shengzhong and the paintings of Yu Hong. The "net" that Wu Hung
described will occupy real space from September 20."

A catalog on the exhibition will be available
For further information, please contact the gallery at (212) 414-1169

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