The Future is the Past – In Search of a Chinese Portrait
Wang Gang / Wen Pulin / Miao Xiaochun / Zhuang Hui / Guo Wei / Wang Yiqiong / Qin Ga / Jiang Zhi / Chen Guang / Cai Weidong / Li Zhanyang / Zhang Wenrong / Ma Jun / Huang Min / Ren Bo / Lou Shenyi / No Survivors / Li Xiaoshi / Wu Jianjun
Curated by Wei Xing
2014.11.20. - 2014.10.12
Capistrangasse 10, Vienna
Chinese people know Vienna, Austria, former capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, as a world capital of culture. Mention Vienna, and Empress Sisi, Johann Strauss and the Golden Hall immediately come to the mind's eye. The tenth edition of the Vienna Art Week has just concluded, and contemporary Chinese art was conspicuously present. Organized around the theme of "Running Minds", the week of Nov. 17-23 was dedicated to the creative process and the restlessness inherent in the artistic act.
In addition to exhibition openings in museums, palaces and galleries amongst the 79 program partners, museum tours were led by artists and curators. These were complemented by film screenings, performances, and architectural visits. An Open Studio Day welcomed visitors to the workspaces of scores of artists all over the city.
According to its Artistic Director, Robert Punkenhofer, Vienna Art Week is "unique in comparison with other European cities. Every year, Vienna's museums, art schools, galleries and independent art initiatives work together to create the festival program."
China's contribution was made by the Yellow Mountain Contemporary Art platform in their show, "The Future is the Past — In Search of a Chinese Portrait." According to its Project Manager, Gedaliah Afterman, the new platform established in 2012 is focused on identifying, supporting and developing exciting young and emerging artists from China and Asia. The Beijing-Hong Kong-Vienna based platform seeks to strengthen cultural exchange between Chinese and international artists through joint exhibitions, public art events and art residencies for promising young artists.
The show features 19 Chinese artists born in the first four decades of New China, and was curated by Beijing-based Wei Xing. He said that the exhibition "attempts to present a multi-layered image of China, and illustrate the country's many portraits through various artworks of different genres and mediums."
The curator designed the exhibit "to invite the audience to embark on a rich visual tour of artworks that illustrate the spirit of Chinese people of different generations, representing the dramatic social, economic and cultural transformations that are still underway in China today."