'The close relationship between contemporary art and China's sweeping transformation has encouraged writers to compile macro histories of this art, interpreting artists and artworks in collective terms and against large social and political movements. Whereas this macroscopic approach contributes to our knowledge of contemporary Chinese art by revealing shared concerns and common stimuli for art creation, it tends to ignore individual creativity and the range of artistic experiments, which make this art more than a sociopolitical endeavour.
To remedy such shortcomings is the goal of this volume. Each of its eighteen chapters focuses on an individual artist or a group of artists connected by a particular artistic project. Developing a microscopic approach, Wu, Hung, one of the most influential interpreters of contemporary Chinese art, makes artists, not collective movements, the central characters of his stories. From this perspective, if contemporary Chinese art has anything to do with social change, such change cannot remain simply an external frame, but must be internalized by individual artists as specific artistic pursuits. Wu Hung's interpretative strategy, therefore, discards the overall framework of a macro history, but forges micro narratives that emphasize different responses to common social problems.' - from back cover. 
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Chapter headings
Reading Mu Xin: An Exile without a Past
Once Again, Painting as Model: Reflections on Cai Guo-Qiang's Gunpowder Painting
A Ghost Rebellion: Xu Bing and His Nonsense Writing
Xu Bing: Experiments in Media and Visual Technique
A Chinese Dream by Wang Jin
Zhang Dali's Dialogue: Conversation with a City
Rong Rong: Ruins as Autobiography
Photographing Deformity: Liu Zheng and His Photo Series My Countrymen
Vernacular Postmodern: The Art of Song Dong and Yin Xiuzhen
Waste Not: Song Dong and Zhao Xiangyuan
Zhu Yu's Skin Graft
Zhan Wang's Artistic Experiments
From Durham to Shanghai: Xu Bing's Tobacco Project
Monumentality to Anti-Monumentality in Wenda Gu's Forest of Stone Steles - A Retranslation and Rewriting of Tang Poetry
Shen Shaomin's Artistic Path
Phantasmagoria: Photographs by Miao Xiaochun
Television in Contemporary Chinese Art: Works by Zhang Peili, Qiu Zhijie, Liu Wei, Wang Jin, and Liu Xinhua
The Three Gorges Dam and Contemporary Chinese Art: Chen Qiulin, Yunfei Ji, Liu Xiaodong, Zhuang Hui
Wu Hung on Contemporary Chinese Artists
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Wu Hung on Contemporary Chinese Artists

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