The next morning, Qin Qi, 2011

Still image from Untitled, Liu Chuang, 2011

Still image from The centre of the world, Xinyi Liu, 2011

Image from Petition, Zhao Liang, 2009

The Flat Show:
5 Young Chinese Artists Group Exhibition
South East London, UK 
24th May  — 31st May 2012


This exhibition, held in the curator’s London home, is part of her postgraduate study in MA Art and Politics at Goldsmiths College. Therefore this exhibition is not only case study of Chinese contemporary art but also constitutes a body of research from the perspective of a Chinese student.

The five participating artists - Liu Chuang, Liu Xinyi, Qin Qi, Zhao Liang, Zhu Tiantian  - belong to a new generation born in the late the 1970s and 1980s.  They experienced the very radical changes in China such as the disintegration of state-owned enterprises, and the transformation from Socialist Economy to ‘Socialist Capitalism’ economy as well as particular political incidents such as the Tiananmen Square protest of 1989. This generation is well educated, have access to both Western and Oriental art history, and possess the freedom to travel enabling them to establish broad global visions and insights.

Moving from the social critique and cultural introspection of the 1980s to the ‘West-East-West’ movement of art and artists in the 1990s has inspired many contemporary Chinese artists so that Chinese contemporary art could no longer stick to old ideologies through the radical change and transformation of the political and social context. How to re-examine the relationship between the realities and themselves within the present context provides a new direction for art practices.

Guo XiaoYan, former chief curator of Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) in China, stated her view on China’s new generation artists when she held the group exhibition ‘Breaking Forecast’ in 2010. In her statement about China’s new generation art, Guo (2010) stressed particular focus on reality as a key element in Chinese contemporary art. In her words: ‘Everyday life has turned out to be spectacles and what is real could be problematic. Reality could be presented through various media so there is more than one version of reality nowadays, or it has become hyper-reality in a sense’.