This interview was conducted at Li Xianting's home in Songzhuang, Beijing on 6 November 2007. 


Biography:

Li Xianting (b. 1949) is an art critic and curator based in Beijing.

Li graduated from the Department of Chinese Painting at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing in 1978. The following year, he became an editor of Art (Meishu) magazine, and in this capacity, encouraged the publication of articles about the 'Stars' exhibitions and other experimental art events. However, following the magazine’s January 1983 issue in which several articles about abstract art appeared, Li was criticized as a radical and suspended from his post.

In 1985, Li Xianting became an editor of Fine Arts in China (Zhongguo meishubao) and spearheaded reporting about the ’85 New Wave. Li was a major organizer of the ‘China/Avant-Garde Exhibition’ at the National Art Museum of China (Beijing, 1989).

Since 1989, Li has worked as an independent art critic and curator. In 1993, Li Xianting co-curated ‘China’s New Art, Post-1989’ in Hong Kong. A selection of Li’s articles entitled The Significance is Not the Art (Zhongyao de bushi yishu) was published by Jiangsu Art Publishing House in 2000.


簡歷︰

栗憲庭,1949年生,藝術評論家及策展人。
1978年畢業於中央美術學院國畫系。1979年獲《美術》雜誌何溶先生任用,成為《美術》雜誌三位編輯之一。栗憲庭在《美術》上首先介紹了《星星畫展》及其他實驗性藝術。在1983年第1期發表了一個關於抽象藝術的專題後,栗憲庭被停止編輯職務。
1985年,栗憲庭應邀擔任《中國美術報》專職編輯,大量報導當時在全國興起的新潮美術。1989年2月,《中國現代藝術展》在北京中國美術館舉行,栗憲庭是該展覽的主要組織者之一。
 
自1989年起,栗憲庭開始從事獨立評論及策展的工作。1993年,栗憲庭與張頌仁共同策劃了《後八九中國新藝術》展覽。文集《重要的不是藝術》於2000年由江蘇美術出版社出版。

Context

In 2006, Asia Art Archive began a focused archiving project called 'Materials of the Future: Documenting Contemporary Chinese Art from 1980-1990'. This project aimed at developing a comprehensive collection of primary research materials including books, periodicals, newspapers, exhibition brochures, invitations, video recordings, correspondence, and other relevant documents. 

As part of this project, AAA digitised more than 80,000 items of material from personal archives to include artists Mao Xuhui, Wu Shanzhuan, Zhang Xiaogang, and Zhang Peili; curators and critics Fei Dawei, Lu Peng, and Zheng Shengtian; as well as the archives of Tokyo Art Gallery. As part of the research process over 75 in-depth interviews with key artists, curators, and critics were conducted. From a portion of these interviews, AAA created a documentary film about experimental art in South China (Guangzhou) in the 1980s entitled From Jean-Paul Sartre to Teresa Teng: Contemporary Cantonese Art in the 1980s.

AAA’s 1980s archiving project culminated with the launch of a comprehensive website portal called www.china1980s.org in September 2010.

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interview documentation

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Interview: Li Xianting (English subtitles)