Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Shanghai Contemporary

My blog entry for this week:
Noor Chadra
The Shanghai Contemporary

The 2010 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair was held in the Russian-built
Shanghai exhibition center this year. Once through the VIP entrance,
unlike other art fairs where all work is shown through it's respective
gallery, there was a wonderful curated exhibition Discoveries:
Re-Value focusing on how modernism is a constant challenge to the idea
of what artistic value actually is. The mission of the show was to
have artistic value meet commercial value.
The show consisted of all kinds of artworks ranging from
traditional painting and black and white photography to balloon
sculpture, video-text dialogue, aboriginal printmaking, and one of the
artworks even included two adorable Chinese children handing out their
business cards in person. The ethnicity of artists also varied though
there seemed to be a focus on Asian artists � Japanese, Korean, and
In the lecture series of the day on the topic "Collecting Asian
Contemporary Art: What, When, and How?", a series of museum and
gallery directors and curators spoke about their respective
gallery/museum, what they look for when collecting art in the current
art market, both economically and aesthetically, and the challenges of
today's art world. One speaker that especially stuck out to me was
Kathy Halbreich, the Depute Director of MoMA, New York. Starting off
with an evocative statement saying that she is no expert at collecting
art (one statement that the Chinese translator managed to leave out),
she spoke about how there is no one truth or absolute universal
standard when it comes to valuing art. It is the people in power,
collectors and collections, that dictate what is valued over time.

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