Introducing new works from exciting contemporary artists from China, Australia, and other countries who have worked in our projects, to new groups of art lovers and collectors is one of the main aims of ACAF, the Australia China Art Foundation. Specifically it is the work of ACAF Projects which organizes our exhibitions.
CI presents us with the opportunity to engage with visitors from Turkey and from across the region as well as the many collectors from Europe who make CI part of their year in art.
PARADE is literally a parade, a parade of works in many media from some of the most exciting and respected artists working in China today. It includes work by both native Chinese artist and also Australian and European artists who have worked in China or with ACAF Projects. It is a wondrous parade of painting, sculpture, video, photography and textile art that will astonish many and certainly challenge preconceived ideas of what is Chinese Art.
Movana Chen, for example, is an amazing conceptual artist who since 2004 has been creating ‘magazine clothes’ knitted from shredded magazines in locations around the world, often with the help of gallery visitors and the public, from bathers on beaches in Australia to galleries in New York. Twenty four of these clothes were used to create one large piece ‘Dreconstructing’ which is physically the largest work on display. The knitting and reconstructing questions the orig- inal language of the magazines, subverting their message within an alternative means of ‘reading’ print media.
At the other end of the spectrum, Miao Xiaochun's video RESTART is a three-di- mensional animation set to the score of Beethoven's "Missa Solemnis", a visual symphony in which the characters travel through time and space referencing the canon of art history. RESTART begins with Pieter Bruegel's ‘The Triumph of Death’ and teems with figures and swarms conveying death as individual skele- tons, groups of skeletons, or entire hordes being delivered from life unto death.
RESTART is frightfully beautiful, unsettling, and enticing all at once, and it thereby hits a nerve with our contemporary desires and fears.
Another stunning work is “Money”, a huge Muchen and Shao Yinong. An example of their latest group of works, it has been a long time in gestation. This is due to the painstaking and specific method by which they have been produced, hand-made using the nearly lost techniques of traditional Suzhou em- broiderers. More significantly though, the length of production of these works embodies the passing of time and how memory becomes both embedded and enshrined within it. “Money” is a very large piece. A carefully rendered, large scale image of a banknote from a long disappeared times. It illustrates baroque pretensions of identity and power through expressions of cliché and heroic ar- chetype. Silently, eloquently and beautifully, they firmly make the point that even the grandest and most powerful of projects irrevocably fall into dust.
For collectors interested in the development of contemporary art in China, the work by Song Ling will be of note. Song Ling was one of the members of the New Wave movement in the 1980,s. This group is seen as the originators of the contemporary art movement in China. We will show work recently exhibited in the U.N Violence Against Women exhibition in Beijing.
Between these set points are works of sculpture, painting, photography and tex- tile art that question and explore the human condition in ways that reflect the new and exiting culture that is developing in China today.
The very diversity of the work displayed exemplifies the aim of ACAF to bring people to a better appreciation of our essential humanity by appreciating each other's unique view and interpretation of life. It also presents collectors with an unique opportunity to start or expand their collection of contemporary Chinese Art. Participation at CI helps full-fill another of ACAF’s aims, that of directly assisting artists careers while broadening awareness of Chinese contemporary art in the world at large.
Many people in the Middle East have an idea fixed in their mind that Chinese art is only the traditional ink wash paintings of mountains, bamboo forests and tigers or traditionally decorated ceramics. Indeed, one of the artists we will be exhibiting, Charlie Stein, has taken that very idea and created traditionally shaped blue “Ming Vases” however instead of the tradition painting of the vase she has created landscapes of life modern China. Charlie is currently working with us in China in our Arts Can Do project for disadvantaged children. She has introduced them to decorating their own blue Ming vases showing their own lives.