Modernism In Contemporary Art

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The vigorous evolution of Chinese contemporary art in the last thirty years has incorporated a decent number of art works that could draw connection to the styles of western avant-garde. Although having been formed and developed in an incredibly fast speed, the stylistic connections could not be purely interpreted as the reconstruction of existing western concepts or elements. Rather, the ways and extents that Chinese artists relate themselves to the western styles could vary. While some might have the suspicion of conducting plagiarism, others might have received indirect inspiration through learning. In either case, the occurrence of the similar style is by no means fortuitous. This paper would focus on the causes and concerns behind the…show more content…
While each individual art form might have become known in China in different period, they all have intrigued Chinese artists to realize how art creation could have the potential versatility to make difference in the society. According to the book the Wall: Reshaping Contemporary Chinese Art written by critic Gao Minglu (2005), the development of contemporary art marked its debut since the collapse of the ten-year cultural revolution (1966-1976), and could be chronically divided into four stages . In the 1960s and 1970s, as a great number of avant-garde movements had become prevalent in western countries, socialist realism style was endorsed as the only official art form to serve the propaganda purpose during the Cultural Revolution . The stagnant of development greatly restricted creativity in artistic community, and continued to influence the trend of Scar Art that had been formed in the first stage (1976-1984) to criticize the previous official realism style. The experiments of western ideologies mainly occurred in the second (1984-1989) and third stages (1989-2000) before the new millennium. In common cases, Chinese avant-gardes even borrowed the name of western art movements to evidently claim the style, such as Xiamen Dadaism emerged around 1985 and political pop in the 1990s. With limited first-hand…show more content…
In the painting Chairman at Shaoshan (1992), artist Yu Youhan decorated the Mao’s figure with blossoms around him. Critic Li Xianting, who coined the term Chinese political pop in his academic essay in 1992, concluded that the style of decoration in the painting was inspired by traditional folk art posters that Chinese people liked to hang up on the walls . The metaphor here referred to the uniformed social system and aesthetical standard in China. This point of view was also quite obvious in the book the Wall written by Gao Minglu. As for Lishan’s artwork Rouge Series (1989-1995), the Mao figure was either in an embroidered suit or with bold blush. During an interview with Asian Art specialist Heather Russel, Lishan explained that the reason of establishing Mao in a vibrant way was to eliminate the melancholy mood affiliated with Mao in a power and further encourage viewers to return to the primitive state that separated them from the extremist historical period they experienced . In the case of Jim Dine’s painting, Chairman Mao and President Johnson are sent up together as a pair of drag queens . Nevertheless, the meaning was about Dine’s personal satire towards tyrant and strong political imposition and superpower of

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