Monday, July 16, 2007

Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection

Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection

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Shi Xinning.

BARCELONA, SPAIN.- The Joan Miró Foundation will present Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection, on view 21 February – 25 May 2008. The Joan Miró Foundation is presenting an exhibition of works by contemporary Chinese artists from the collection owned by the Swiss diplomat Uli Sigg.

The show aims to reflect the current state of art in China through a selection of some 50 pieces by different artists produced between 1986 and 2006 – a period of enormous economic and social change in the country that has had worldwide implications.

Since the start of the post-Mao economic reforms in 1979, the art scene in China has developed in an exceptionally dynamic way, although it is still difficult for artists to be truly independent.

During the last twenty years, the West has begun to take an interest in the new Chinese art, and Chinese artists have begun to make a name for themselves internationally, demonstrating their skill in the use of the media and techniques of Western art.

They have, however, preserved their specifically Chinese roots, ranging from the pre-modern tradition to the Social Realism of the late 1970s, which can be seen in many of the paintings on view. Some of the artists explore their national identity by using traditional Chinese media and art forms in a different context; others opt for irony and a certain sarcasm.

But above all, Chinese avant-garde art must be seen against the backdrop of the radical social and economic changes that the country has undergone. Many of the pieces reveal the tension between the socialist ideals that are still current and the new consumerism that the shift towards a capitalist economy has brought with it.

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