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Flying Bird is Motionless, Installation view

Flying Bird is Motionless

Installation view

Flying Bird is Motionless, Installation view

Flying Bird is Motionless

Installation view

Born in Sichuan in 1958, Wang Jianwei is widely recognized as one of the most innovative video and multi media artists working today. He was the first Chinese artist to be represented in Documenta in 1997 and was the official Chinese representative of China at the 2002 Sao Paolo Biennale.

Like many of his contemporaries, his education was interrupted during the Cultural Revolution. After graduating from the China Art Academy in Hangzhou in 1987, he was well known as a proponent of so-called "Scar Painting" and accepted as one of the most talented painters of his generation, but after 1990 his work changed radically.

Unlike many of his contemporaries who responded viscerally to the visual aspects of Western art while ignoring its deeper meanings, Wang Jianwei was more inclined to seek out its philosophical and theoretical underpinnings. As critic Jonathan Napack has characterized his development during this crucial period: "In a sense his personal development mirrored the larger direction of Chinese art, from Socialist realism to a rather simplistic humanism towards a sophisticated but very local form of conceptualism. In the most literal terms, Wang went from the easel to the laboratory, producing a series of works that claimed art as a form of experimental knowledge."

Building on the foundation of the conceptual works of the early 1990s, Wang began a series of video and multi media works that continue to this day. "Living Elsewhere" (1999) is an investigation into the fate of an abandoned luxury apartment building outside Chengdu that had been taken over by a group of landless peasants. One of his most haunting and demanding works, this contrasts with the theatrical flair of a multi media work such as "Ceremony," performed in Beijing, Paris and London in 2003. Described as a "rumination on historical memory and political necessity," the piece is based on an incident from the medieval novel "The Three Kingdoms."

For Wang Jianwei, each exhibition is an occasion to explore new territory and the present exhibition is no exception. A multi media presentation incorporating video, photography and installation, Relativism: A Flying Bird is Motionless will continue lines of investigation that have preoccupied his thinking for the last decade. While individual works have been seen in recent exhibitions including How Latitude Becomes Form: Art in a Global Age at the Walker Art Center and Between Past and Future at the International Center of Photography, New York, this will be the first opportunity for an American audience to experience Wang Jianwei's work in all its complexity.

*Catalogue Available


与他的同辈人相同,汪建伟的教育因文化大革命而被迫停止。1987 年从杭州中国艺术学院毕业后,他成为“ 伤痕油画”的倡导人,是他这一代中最有才华的艺术家之一。但是在1990 年之后,他的作品发生了彻底的改变。

许多中国当代艺术家对西方视觉艺术有着发自内心的感触,但却遗忘了它更深一层的意义。而汪建伟则更倾向于寻找其中哲学与理论上的深层含义。评论家 Jonathan Napack(降落伞)在描绘汪建伟关键时期作品的特性时评价说:“ 从一定意义上看,他个人的发展是中国艺术在大方向上转变的写照,从社会现实主义到简明的人文主义,最后趋向于复杂成熟却又极度地方化的观念艺术。 用最形象的话来说,汪建伟从画架走进实验室,制作了一系列宣称艺术是一种试验性知识的作品”。

汪建伟于90年代初创作了一些观念艺术作品,在此基础上,他又制作了一系列的多媒体影像作品,并一直延续至今。《生活在别处》(1999) 描绘了成都郊外一座被一群无地农民占领的被遗弃的豪华公寓大楼。这是他最令人难以忘怀的一件作品,与2003 年在北京,巴黎和伦敦演出的《仪式》形成强烈的对比。这件作品由古典小说《三国演义》中的事件受到启发,被描述为“对历史的记忆和对政治的必要性的沈思”。

对汪建伟来说,每一次展览都是一次探索新领域的机会。这次展览也不例外。《飞鸟不动》将展出录像,摄影,及装置等多媒体作品,是艺术家过去十年来一直感兴趣的问题的延续。其中部份作品曾在其他美术馆展出过,比如明尼苏达州沃克艺术中心(Walker Art Center)的展览《自由怎样成为形式:地球时代的艺术》,和纽约国际摄影中心(International Center of Photography)的展览《过去与未来之间》等。这次在前波画廊的展览将第一次向美国观众提供机会,全方位的体会汪建伟作品的复杂性。