This show focuses on the work of Chinese artists Gu Wenda and Zhang Peili, who have emerged from the Jiangnan region in the post-Tiannamen Chinese avant-garde movement. Jiangnan, the region south of the Yangtze River, has been the centre of Chinese cultural production for a thousand years. After enduring a century of modernist, communist and “cultural” revolutions, the region is intense with artistic activity informed by the international art scene and its own history.
Zhang Peili’s and Gu Wenda’s work is among the most pointedly political of the new generation of Chinese artists. Zhang Peili’s video installations focus on the radical and uncertain social and cultural transition experienced by the Chinese today. Gu Wenda, known for his controversial work, Oedipus Refound #1: The Enigma of Blood, shown at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1995, returns to Vancouver with a large scale project that includes a 40’ x 40’ curtain using clipped hair from people in Vancouver and a video/performance piece that includes conversations with prominent members of Vancouver’s academic, political, economic and cultural scenes. His work connects the physicality of the body to issues of geopolitics, language, immigrations, and nationality.
This exhibition has been made possible through the generous support of the Annie Wong Art Foundation and the Exhibition Assistance Program of the Canada Council.
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