Monday, October 20, 2008

Trip to M50

I will have to admit, I feel that I have been quite ignorant when it comes to contemporary art in Shanghai. After having talk to my group mates about the art in China, I realized that censorship and commercialization has really played a part in how art is in China. When I went to the Biennial, I thought it was quite interesting and organized. I thought it was simply safe. But after talking about it, I realized that it was like because of all the censorship. It makes you really wonder if what the artists put up is what they wanted to create and convey or was it simply to please the government. Visiting Bizart and talking with Zhou Ying, it was interesting to see how risky it is to push the borders when it comes to censorship. Also, because artists here need to make a living and survive and be allowed to create some type of art, they have to abide by the rules of the government. At first it seemed to be all about the art but beneath the surface, I have also realized it is about meeting requirements, pleasing the government. It is commercialization of the art. With such restrictions, how else can one make money and be allowed to still create. It was interesting to hear from the artists point of view regarding the biennial, how it is greatly commercialized, targeted towards the Chinese people to understand and see how "great" China is: a facade.
Coming with no background in regards to art, I feel completely lost at times because I really know nothing of the situation nor am I able to compare how different it is in America. I never understood the struggles Chinese artists, Chinese people dealt because I took granted the freedoms I had. It is just eye-opening to me. As Laura had said, I believe, it has a chance to be great and real with all that is developing in China, especially with the E-arts, but restricted freedoms will not allow for such potential greatness.

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