The exhibition CHINA NOW is the first opportunity in Austria to compare the explosive potential of heterogeneous artistic approaches in Chinese contemporary art. At The Essl Collection, the independent curator and critic Feng Boyi, member of the "Chinese Artists’ Association", presents more than 100 works by 42 artists involving all contemporary arts media, including painting and photography as well as large-format installations and video. The exhibition traces the most important developments of Chinese avant-garde art in seven thematically arranged galleries. Most of the works are owned by The Essl Collection. In the late 1990s, Karlheinz Essl started to explore Chinese art, and the works he acquired in recent years during his visits to artists’ studios in Shanghai and Beijing form the backbone of the exhibition, supplemented by significant art loans from China and Europe.
The artists engage in a critical and sometimes humorous reflection on the changes occurring in Chinese society, on capitalism, globalisation, the dichotomy between the masses and the individual, but also on Western art. Traditional elements of Chinese arts influence their work just as much as the symbols of long-practiced Socialist Realism.
Images of works in the present catalogue are accompanied by artist biographies.
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