Li Xianting Archive

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.

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For each of these collection items, we applied a description to facilitate ease in search and access. Every item has a title, access level, rights statement, description and the folder and path within the archive structure. This includes the URL to the webpage and URL to the items with online access. The metadata is predominantly in English, with some supplementary title and descriptive information in other languages.

This information has been exported from the database as Excel, XML, and JSON files.  

Notice to Users

Please acknowledge and attribute Asia Art Archive as the publisher of the data sets.

This information is made available for research use at the user’s own risk under the guidelines of CC0 and our Terms and Conditions.

Please do not use AAA’s logo, fonts, or other trademarks. Do not misrepresent the data sets or use them to mislead others. If you change, modify, or transform the information found within these data sets for your project, you must make it clear that you have made alterations to the source material.

Items Under Copyright or Other Restrictions

While the data sets are freely available for use under CC0, each collection item described within has its own rights statement with specific restrictions on rights and reproductions.

Please respect the copyright of each item. If you wish to use any item beyond what is permitted in the rights statement please contact the Collections team.

Contact Information

We would love to see what you do with our data sets, so please get in touch. As well, if you identify possible inaccuracies in the metadata please notify us and we will investigate.



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Li Xianting Archive 栗憲庭檔案

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