Li Xianting Archive consists of research materials, writings, correspondence, photographs, and artist materials that Li Xianting has collected from the late 1970s to recent years.

These materials will be released in phases. The first set (400+ records, less than 5% of the entire archive, launched August 2018) contains exhibition documentation from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s, including selections from the 'Stars Art Exhibitions' (1979–1980), 'Wild Grass Art Exhibition' (1980), and 'First Modern Art Exhibition in Xi'an' (1981), among others; exhibition and artist files concerning Chinese performance art from the 1980s and 1990s, including materials about the Concept 21 group and the 'M Conceptual Art Performance Exhibition' (1986); materials about 'Prayer Beads and Brush Strokes' (2003), an exhibition curated by Li; and selected materials about Li’s editorial works for Meishu and Fine Art in China.

About Li Xianting

Li Xianting (b. 1949) studied in the Department of Chinese Painting of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, as a Worker-Peasant-Soldier student from 1974 to 1978. He was Editor for three seminal art publications: Meishu (1978–1983), Fine Arts in China (1985–1989), and Next Wave (2001). He was also involved in the editorial works of other art journals, such as The Trend of Art Thought and Art Currents.

Li has been a prominent writer and researcher about contemporary Chinese art since the 1970s. His essays, which include 'A Critique of the Artistic Revolution of May Fourth Movement,' 'The Significance Does Not Lie in Art,' 'Postmodernity, Nationalisation, and Straw,' and 'Apathetic Feelings in Contemporary Chinese Art Trends: An Analysis of the Cynical Realist Current,' have become indispensable texts for research on contemporary Chinese art.

As an independent curator, Li has participated in numerous influential exhibitions, including 'China's New Art, Post–1989' (1993–1997, toured to various locations in Hong Kong, Australia, and North America); 'Walk Away from National Ideology' (1995, Hamburg, Germany); 'Oh La La Kitsch' (1999, Tianjin, China); 'Infatuated with Injury' (2000, Beijing, China); and 'Prayer Beads and Brush Strokes' (2003, Beijing, China).

Li Xianting settled in Beijing’s Songzhuang and founded Li Xianting Film Fund in 2006, which is a project dedicated to the screening, education, and preservation of independent documentary films in China.


166 Folders, 1862 Records