Arts & Culture
SCVA hosts China China China !!!
Exhibition: China China China !!!
By David Keller
The University Of East Anglia is hosting the exhibition China China China !!! - Chinese Contemporary Art Beyond The Global Market, which looks at the ways in which China has become a world superpower during the modern era.
Revellers of modern contemporary visual art are encouraged to take their time and absorb the exhibition of China China China !!! which showcases the booming interest in Chinese contemporary art.
"It's so good they named it three times! It's all so very exciting," said Amanda Geitner, head of collections and exhibitions at the Sainsbury Centre For Visual Arts (SCVA), University Of East Anglia.
The show, collated by three separate artists living in China, will house an array of modern artworks from the Far East, including a four metre suspended moon, a 13 metre banner of sunflowers and sculptures of Chinese chickens.
The collection runs at the University's Sainsbury Centre For Visual Arts (SCVA) from Tuesday, 10 February - Sunday, 3 May, 2009.
China China China !!!
The bold title of the exhibition attempts to put across the strong Chinese imagery that has developed from the superpower since its capitalist values have come into the foreground.
Normadic Clothes - Space Suit
"The name is a reflection of the fact that we have all been talking about China this decade," said Amanda.
"It has entered into a capitalist market, where it has experienced very rapid and massive industrialisation, and of course, the huge Olympic event in the summer of 2008.
"China has been on everyone's minds and particularly in the visual and contemporary arts worlds.
"We are one of many galleries and organisations across the world that have recently done shows about China, and as the Chinese Contemporary Art Beyond The Global Market title suggests, China has been phenomenally successful in the art market."
Bringing the best from China
Staging a large project that reflects what is happening in China in modern times has been of utmost importance.
"It was first put together at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence and we came into a relationship with one of the curators Davide Quadrio," said Amanda.
"We also worked together with Li Zhenhua, a young curator based in Beijing, and Zhang Wei, who's based in Guangzhou in the Pearl River Delta.
"We wanted to work with curators in China who are very much in the middle of what's happening there. What they've done is put together three separate galleries showcasing what they think is the most interesting work coming from the country in 2009."
Amanda Geitner constructing the moon
One of the literal highlights of the exhibition is a four-metre moon, which when suspended from the ceiling of the centre, will be lit by thousands of light bulbs.
"It took a team of about a dozen of us all day to screw in the bulbs. It almost entirely fills the space we have here and it's blindingly bright," said Amanda.
"I don't think the artist wanted to make a romantic, glowing, gentle moon - what he wanted to show was an incredibly pulsating light that reflects the energy, power and dynamism that people now associate with modern China," she added.
Another eye-catching piece in the exhibition is a girl with hair that flows all the way across the floor, in a piece of art titled Hair Dress - Dress Of The Nomads.
"It's called Hair Dress. It's an armature that's covered in a floor-length head-dress made entirely of human hair. It's eye-catching, mysterious and quite provocative," said Amanda.
Showcasing even more of the visually stunning work, iMirror, a film about the loneliness of the virtual-reality world Second Life, and Return To The Border provide meditative moving images.
"Return To The Border is a meditation, I suppose, done by an artist now in later life returning to his town on the border of China and North Korea," said Amanda.
iMirror by Cao Fei
"It looks at the way in which since his childhood, two countries that were aligned in their political and social structures have separated and moved-apart within the last two decades."
"There's a lot of other video work, which I think not only reflects the current practice in China, but current contemporary art across the world."
A Chinese ethos at the University
The programme also reflects the ever increasing numbers of Chinese students that are attending the University Of East Anglia.
"We are always programming here in connection with our world art collections. China is represented in our permanent collection and we're keen to bring world art to Norfolk," said Sally Goldsmith, marketing at press manager at SCVA.
"This exhibition, with its Chinese focus, is relevant to lots of communities within Norfolk.
"The Chinese student association here is 800 strong and we've been working very closely with those representatives to engage them with the exhibition and get them involved."
"To cater for the association, we've invited them to a special preview, I've been organising the translation of mandarin gallery guides."
The collection runs at the University Of East Anglia's Sainsbury Centre For Visual Arts (SCVA) from Tuesday, 10 February - Sunday, 3 May, 2009.
last updated: 13/02/2009 at 15:34