Thursday, September 16, 2010

Nina Boys Contemporary Art and New Media in China Blog Entry #2 09.16.2010 I had the pleasure of attending the ShContemporary's collection of international galleries at the Shanghai Exhibition Center this past week. Self proclaimed as "THE Asia Pacific Contemporary Art Fair," the center featured a vast array of contemporary art of various media; everything from audio/visual to sneakers. An open and lofty venue, art appreciators were free to meander from one gallery to the next and I noticed that the majority of the patrons appeared to be foreigners. In addition to presenting a wide range of noteworthy (and some not) contemporary art, there was in addition a curated exhibition with the overarching theme of "Discoveries – Re-Value" which addressed the complex relationship between artistic values and the commercialization of art. Observing the audience, the general feeling was that of artistic excitement, people seemed to be active in their consumption of the art around them – chattering, smiling and pondering. While most of the art struck me as being fresh and unique, there were two overarching themes I noticed as being common to many of the pieces; the incorporation of nature and religion, specifically, eastern religion into the works. I noted that nature at large seemed to be a large inspiration, from furniture made entirely of wood logs to photographs of lush forests and holograms of birds soaring over the ocean. I also found the contemporary spin on eastern religion to be of particular interest. More specifically I was drawn to the religious icons that were covered entirely in colorful sequins. It made me wonder what this said about modern man's relationship to both the Earth and spirituality and how that has evolved over time.

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