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Distributed October 20, 2004
Contact Mary Jo Curtis

Nov. 6 to Dec. 23, 2004
Bell Gallery to present exhibition of contemporary Chinese art

The David Winton Bell Gallery will present Regeneration: Contemporary Chinese Art from China and the U.S., a traveling exhibition featuring the work of 26 artists, Nov. 6 through Dec. 23, 2004. A lecture and opening reception are scheduled for Nov. 11. A second lecture is set for Nov. 15. The exhibition, reception and lectures are free and open to the public.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The David Winton Bell Gallery will present a traveling exhibition, titled Regeneration: Contemporary Chinese Art from China and the U.S., Nov. 6 through Dec. 23, 2004.


Zhang Xiaogang
No. 14, 2003. Oil on paper. Image courtesy of the artist.

This group show, organized by the Samek Art Gallery at Bucknell University, features the work of 26 artists and reflects the West’s growing interest in contemporary Chinese art. Together, the artists examine the vital and rapid changes that have occurred in contemporary Chinese art since the death of Mao Tse-tung and the fall of the Gang of Four in 1976.

The work of the participating artists is executed in a wide range of media, including drawing, installation, painting, photography, video, printmaking and sculpture. Some of the artists – notably Gu Wenda, Xu Bing and Ai Weiwei – have been recognized internationally since the late 1980s. Others – including Zhang Huan, Hai Bo and Zhang Xiaogang – received notice in large international exhibitions during the 1990s; still more participants – Yun-Fei Ji, Lin Tianmiao and others – are currently emerging.

While the work in this exhibition is diverse and wide-ranging, the artists share thematic concerns. “Some employ or appropriate traditional Chinese art forms in new ways; some investigate the significant social and cultural transformations in China. All represent the vital and rapid regeneration of contemporary life and culture in China today,” said Jo-Ann Conklin, director of the Bell Gallery.

Editors: Images are available through the Brown News Service.


Gu Wenda
Untitled Nations – Temple of Exoticisms, 1998-2004. Mixed media installation. Image courtesy of the artist.

The featured artists are Ai Weiwei, Chen Lingyang, Hai Bo, Hong Hao, Li Yongbin, Lin Tianmiao, Liu Wei, Liu Xiaodong, Qiu Zhijie, Yu Hong, Zhang Dali, Zhang Xiaogang, Zhang Yajie, Zhao Liang; Chen Shaoxiong, Liang Juhui; Hong Lei, Hu Jieming, Xu Zhen, Zhou Xiaohu; and Cai Jin, Wenda Gu, Xiaoze Xie, Xu Bing, Yun-Fei Ji, Zhang Huan.

Two lectures will be presented with the exhibit. Participating artist Yun-Fei Ji will discuss his work Thursday, Nov. 11, at 5:30 p.m., after which there will be an opening reception. Wu Hung, the Harrie A. Venderstappen Professor in Chinese Art History at the University of Chicago, will speak on “Contemporaneity in Contemporary Chinese Art,” on Monday, Nov. 15, at 5:30 p.m. Both lectures will be held in List Art Center Auditorium.

The catalogue accompanying the exhibition includes essays by Chinese avant-garde art critic and curator Li Xianting and exhibition curators Dan Mills and Xiaoze Xie.

The Speakers

Wu Hung is the Harrie A. Venderstappen Distinguished Service Professor in Chinese Art History and director of the Center for the Art of East Asia at the University of Chicago. A prolific writer on traditional Chinese art, Wu Hung has also played a major role in introducing contemporary Chinese art to the West. He has organized several exhibitions on the topic at the Smart Museum of Art, where he is consulting curator, and he was the chief curator of the first Guangzhou Triennial exhibition in 2002. His recent publications on contemporary art include Chinese Art at the Crossroads: Between Past and Future, Between East and West (New Art Medium, 2001); Rong Rong’s East Village (Chamber Fine Arts, 2003); and, with Christopher Phillips, Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China (Smart Museum of Art and International Center of Photography, 2004).


Xu Zhen
Still from Rainbow, 1998, digital video. Image courtesy of the Bell Gallery.

Yun-Fei Ji was born in Beijing in 1963 and currently lives and works in New York. His paintings are said to combine compositional and technical brilliance with expressions of sorrow and melancholy, while conveying an underlying political message. Signs of contemporary life – such as automobiles and stage sets – are mixed with mythological and real figures, and all are hidden within dense and complex landscapes. His work has been shown in one-person exhibitions is New York, Los Angeles and Antwerp. His first traveling solo exhibition, The Empty City, is currently on view at the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, Boston. He was included in the Whitney Biennial 2002 and Open House: Working in Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Museum of Art (2004), as well as in numerous group exhibitions since 1990.

The exhibit, reception and lectures are all free and open to the public. The David Winton Bell Gallery, located on the first floor of the List Art Center at 64 College St., is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information, call (401) 863-2932.


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