Liu Nanxi, the Grantee of Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Greater China Research Grant 2016, presents the results of her research in the past year in this talk, From Creating Imagery to Bodily Presence: Performance Art Communities in Beijing and Chengdu in the 1990s and the Emergence of Performance Art Festival in China (1993–2003).
The artist communities of “Beijing East Village” and “719 Artist Studio Alliance” in Chengdu represent key tendencies in the development of post-1989 Chinese performance art. During the early to mid-1990s, the two groups of artists both developed performance practices that responded to the specific conditions of being marginalised by society. These newer practices differed from the majority of performance art during the ’85 New Wave in that artists were more conscious of the meanings of the bodily sensations and the immediate site of the performance. From the mid-1990s onwards, as Chinese artists had obtained more experience in self-organising events and international exchange, they began setting up local performance art festivals. The specific models of performance art festival they appropriated and the new communities of artists formed as a result are profoundly influential to the development of performance art in China of the new millennium.
By producing new archives and interviews, Liu Nanxi’s research project aims at re-examining the activities and ideas of the two artist communities. Using the artistic turn these artists represent as a departure point, Liu also attempts to obtain new historical insights about the emergence of performance art festivals in China.
This talk invites Shu Yang, the co-founder and co-curator of Open Art Festival—the first performance art festival in China—to be part of the discussion.
Free and open to the public with registration.
Liu Nanxi received her MA in Cultural Management at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She has published articles on Art World Magazine and Artforum. Liu was one of the organisers and a participating artist for the Hong Kong Performance Art International Exchange Project from 2014 and 2016. In recent years, she contributes to the study of performance art and curatorial work in socially-engaged art practice.
Shu Yang is a curator, art critic, and artist who now lives and works in Beijing, China and Düsseldorf, Germany. Since 1999, he has been involved in independent curatorial work in contemporary art in Beijing. Shu was appointed as the Executive Director of Kunstraum am Rhein DCKD in Düsseldorf, Germany in 2017. In 2018, he joined the academic committee of Lianzhou International Foto Festival.