Shanghai Contemporary Art fare 2010, was an interesting showcase indeed.
To see a curated show in an art fare, most often occupied by a scattered
variety of works from an equally scattered lot of galleries was very refreshing.
I actually enjoyed the Asian artists displayed here, and the curators
had done a great
job both showing an artistic direction of the region and also put
together an interesting
feature on a current hot topic the world around.
Less interesting was the actual fare but I must admit, I did not see
the entire thing.
Having not enough time to go through the massive collection of works
in one day, and even less so skipping around on crutches with a broken
heel, made it very difficult to enjoy the SH contemporary to the
fullest; yet, what I was able to see I was not impressed by. Even less
impressive was the Conference held at the SHcontemporary.
Titled Collecting Asian Contemporary: What, When and How?, I was
expecting an insight in a highly interesting art market that I believe
will grow much bigger and more important in the matter of just a few
years. Instead what I got to listen to was speaker after speaker,
promoting their own collections and praising the fantastic wonder that
is China and its art scene. There seemed to be no criticism or extra
thought, neither from any of the speakers nor from the audience
members. Not a single speaker shared insight that can’t be found by
either entering the institutions websites or even doing a google.cn
search, as none of the information given would offend the great
firewall for sure.
All in all, A spectacular performance of a contemporary art market in
bloom, in a spectacular show space in a spectacular country, with a
not so spectacular body of work. To bad the mostly western presenters
and audience refused to step out of the comfort zone of their bubble.
I might as well go to a European or American art fare, the galleries
are about the same and at least Europeans are critical about their own
countries and what it produces when they are at home.