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Looking Back, Looking Forward: Contemporary Chinese Art, 1976-Present

A talk by Christina Yu Yu, Assistant Curator, Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Tuesday, May 14, 2013
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Dodd 161

Emphasizing the diversity and complexity of art making in China, this talk will trace the development of contemporary art in China in the last four decades from the late 1970s to today, including artists working in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and those of the diaspora.  Recently there has been an explosion of interest in contemporary art from China.  Domestically, the enthusiasm coincides with China’s rapid economic, social, and political transformation.  Internationally, such a fascination is partly driven by the country’s rising status in the global economy.  Within these frames, Chinese art has largely been seen either as a derivative of Western art, or an extension of the country’s centuries-old art tradition.  These approaches have obscured a critical understanding of the trajectory of contemporary Chinese art, and to some degree, perpetuated the misconception that contemporary art in China is mainly market-driven.  Identifying several art movements and historicizing their significance, this talk will demonstrate that contemporary art in China is conditioned and shaped by the country’s unique history and culture, which provides a fertile land for artistic experimentations. 

Christina Yu Yu, Ph.D. is the Assistant Curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Trilingual in Chinese, Japanese, and English, Yu went to LACMA from Chambers Fine Art, where she curated the exhibitions Harmonic Visions: Contemporary Chinese Photogrphy (2009) and Me, Myself, and I (2010). She worked at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and MoMA, in addition to museum work at the Yokohama Museum of Art in Japan, and the International Center of Photography in New York. Yu obtained her Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Chicago.


Sponsor(s): Center for Chinese Studies

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