Chambers Fine Art is pleased to announce the opening of Cement - Marginal Space in Contemporary Art on July 3, 2002. The participating artists have been selected by Feng Bo-yi, an independent curator who was one of the organizers of the controversial exhibition "Fuck Off" held at the same time as the official Shanghai Biennale in 2000.
China is a country in political and cultural ferment. In the great cities like Beijing and Shanghai, as well as in the provinces, life is being transformed, most obviously on the physical level by the demolition of many old buildings and the construction of the new. Without the material "cement" none of this could take place. As Feng Boyi has written:
"As a manufactured material, cement symbolizes the ideals of modern society. In the past twenty years of the China open-door policy, the use of cement in architecture has physically revealed transformations in the process of modernization and urbanization". Showing works of art in various media, the exhibition uses both the term and the concept of cement to represent urban transformations and conflicts in contemporary China. It explores the relationship between human beings and history, nature and current society. The exhibition is not merely an architectural exhibition. It is a group show in which cement is the unifying element."
Among the participating artists the architect Chang -Yung-ho is widely known for his innovative architectural projects in Beijing and elsewhere. Ai Wei-wei, who first captured public attention with his drastic reconfigurations of traditional Chinese furniture has become an influential figure in the contemporary art world in China, after an extended stay in New York. Wang Qiang, Gu Xiao-ping and Wiang Jin-hao represent a younger generation of artists.
Working in a wide diversity of media and of different generations, the artists grouped together under the metaphorical title Cement convey a vivid picture of the artistic vitality of contemporary China.