It has been ten years since Chinese contemporary art made its appearance in France. Until 5 September 2016, the Fondation Louis Vuitton presents an exhibition devoted to Chinese art.
The exhibition «Bentu – Chinese Artists in a Time of Turbulence and Transformation.” brings together 12 artists from different generations – artists born in the 1950’s as well as younger artists born in the 1980’s living in mainland China including Ai Weiwei, Zhou Tao, Huang Yong Ping 黄永砯, Zhang Huan, Xu Zhen and Zhang Xiaogang. Using a mix of techniques and media, drawn from both local tradition and culture, as well as newer cutting edge technologies, sometimes associating with or confronting these, the artists explore the problems of a society that is in permanent transformation. The works are meant to highlight the current state of economy and ecology, and most importantly, the mutation of the relationship between the city and the countryside.
Bentu word in English means “native land”, however in the field of contemporary Chinese art, this term does not refer to nationalism, but represents a search for identity and reflections on the theme of complexity and diversity of the modern world.
According to TEFAF 2016 market report, the Chinese market experienced a significant decline, with sales dropping 23 percent, to $11.8 billion, but we can see from the number of visitors, that the interest in this country and its art is definitely not lost.
*Photography courtesy of Emma Hanzlikova.