Friday, May 21, 2010

The Minsheng Art Museum by Alexa Haas

The Minsheng Art Museum
Thirty Years of Chinese Contemporary Art 1979-2009

This exhibit marked the opening of this new museum, and it proves
itself to be quite promising. Visitors follow a path and linearly go
through the decades (Though the work itself is not in any
chronological order, and I wonder why). It is a unique experience to
look through a collection is the context of its place in history.
There was one viewer who literally ran through each room, looking at
the plaque, glancing at the work then running to the next one.
Literally, running. There is a somewhat clear line in the shifts of
the work, but those clear divisions are continuously stepped on and
redefined. At the end of Exhibition Hall 2 you can see the rise of
color, while the 1980s remains very Earthy. Particularly when you
reach Exhibition Hall 3 ~ the 2000s, there is the rise of pink ~hot
pink~ which I'd like to coin as the 'color of our generation.' We can
see this quite obviously in Li Shan's 2001 work, "Reading" to Liu
Wei's neon "Landscape" in 2008. I think hot pink has a specific
connotation for this era in time, for some reason its usage just looks
like it was made in the 2000s. It is the same in America, if we look
at musical artist Dan Deacon's performance art or Os Gemeos' new mural
on Houston Street. This neon pink represents happiness and the
playfulness of the work, because it does not conjure any negative
feelings, it is just highly pleasant for the eye to look at.

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