Art today is moving in directions of which our forebears had no inkling; the Horsemen of the Apocalypse are heard galloping through the air; artistic excitement can be felt all over Europe – new artists are signalling to one another from all sides; a glance, a touch of the hand, is enough to convey understanding.
Franz Marc, Blaue Reiter Manifesto, 1912 [quoted in ‘Letters of the Great Artists – from Blake to Pollock’, Richard Friedenthal, Thames and Hudson, London, 1963, p. 207.]
As true today as it was then
Bring on that apocalypse, vive la
Franz Marc, Tower of Blue Horses, 1913
Franz Marx, Fighting Forms, 1914
It’s so exciting to be alive right now! With the birth of the internet and globalisation, this generation of cyber kids is noticeably on the rise…
The influx of information we’re receiving is astounding and not prescribed to us through schooling. This means the world is slowly waking the fuck up!
Well, unless you live in China like my mum and sister do at the moment…I don’t know if my sister even got my last email cause I told her to find a proxy and to seek out Ai Weiwei!
Which reminds me….Ai Weiwei’s existence and the fact that he is actively trying to change the reality he was born in to is super inspiring! Whilst doing this, he is also changing the face of art as we know it. I mean, fuck this Damient Hirst bullshit!
In Ai Weiwei, I see a similar spirit that has fed movements like the German Expressionists [Der Blaue Reiter and Die Brucke] or Dada when they were confronted with World Wars and such oppressors as History’s beloved Hitler…the role of the true artist is to teach and artists have always been fighting against old established forces but ultimately, creating art that stands for peace and unity by destroying expectation and busting loose from the bars of society.
Whatever is happening in China, it is booming! The art coming out of there is both pronounced and allusive, and all artists are threads woven into a much bigger social fabric…The Cultural Revolution of 66-76 saw the socialist efforts to push soviet-style realism and traditional forms of ink painting by banning everything else, whether it was Chinese or Western. Revolting against this meant you were branded a capitalist douchebag or a total traitor! But since the 80s, things have been picking up with the role of the artist becoming important again, in providing a national image and creating sufficient income.
Many artists are revitalising what the Cultural Revolutionaries attempted to repress
Many of them critique capitalism and consumerism
Many criticise corruption and censorship
Many try to make sense of history and ideology – what is real, what is truth?! The synthesis is brought into question, an ever more pressing question here in the digital age!
Shen Shaomin – Thousand Hand Buddha and Bonsai No.39
MadeIn Company (led by Xu Zhen) – Immortals’ Trails in Secret Land……a ginormous collage tapestry that echoes digitized cut and paste, a window or screen into the life of China
Xu Zhongmin – Egg Shape
Zhang Tingqun – ‘net’ paintings…his internal nebula of memories and thoughts, executed in a calligraphy brush
Zong Ning – Slum…inkjet-printed performance-photo-paintings
[sorry, slack on dates – but all are fairly recent…]
meandering through 798 the other year with my sister….Beijing bitches!!!
Can’t make it to China?
Holla to my people in the pacific…Sydney is more doable, right? Visit the White Rabbit Gallery, home to a great range of contemporary Chinese artists. Their website is amazing, with a short synopsis of all the featured artists and obviously much more!
It’s exciting to see where art is heading in this age where we can travel and communicate across oceans without leaving the couch. Even doodling is a legitimate art form!
“CHINA BLUE” – documentary on the denim factories. This is my Chinese denim slave girl.
Kids are wiser and more intuitive than ever before, and the ‘apocalypse’ is coming!