CHEN QIULIN: ONE HUNDRED NAMES

16 January – 27 February 2016

One Hundred Names is the first Australian solo exhibition by Chinese artist Chen Qiulin. Chen belongs to a generation of Chinese artists whose work articulates the social repercussions of China’s ongoing process of political and economic reform. Her work explores the many contradictions inherent within the conditions that frame contemporary life in a country where myriad tensions and conflicts between tradition, progress and appearances are constantly tested. Raised in Wanzhou City, located in the municipality of Chongqing in western China, Chen’s home city was partially submerged by the construction of the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River since 2001 and her work responds to this lived experience of natural and urban landscapes in flux.

4A’s exhibition includes a survey of the artist’s practice from the last ten years. Included are key works such as The Garden (2007) and Farewell Poem (2007), which through performance explore and document the physical and psychological upheaval caused by the comprehensive expansion of the city and the construction of the dam, which forced more than one million people from their ancestral homes. Also exhibited are new works such as City Manager (2015), a single-channel video which focuses on three archetypal figures and their role in the urban expansion and development of a new kind of architecture and class system within China. Playful and irreverent, City Manager speaks to immense influence of a small group of people in shaping the physical and social landscapes of contemporary China.

Commissioned especially for 4A is One Hundred Names for Kwong Wah Chong (2015), the latest iteration of Chen Qiulin’s ongoing One Hundred Surnames in Tofu(2004 – ) project that presents the one hundred most common Chinese family names carved from tofu, slowly decaying over a period of weeks or months. For Chen, tofu is not only one of China’s oldest and most commonly used ingredients but also an apt artistic medium that symbolises the material transformation through intensive labour. One Hundred Names for Kwong Wah Chong has been produced to commemorate Sydney’s iconic Haymarket district and, in particular, Sydney’s first Chinese-owned and operated shopfront business, Kwong Wah Chong, whose location at 84 Dixon Street which was an economic and social cornerstone for the Chinese community in the early decades of the twentieth-century.

As one of China’s foremost artists, Chen Qiulin represents a new voice in contemporary Chinese art which is at once highly personal and universal, speaking to broader politics of migration and identification. One Hundred Names presents a dynamic platform across an exhibition, performance and public programs that showcases the conceptually and technically diverse practice of Chen Qiulin that articulates past experiences and future potentials of social and urban landscapes of our region.

《陈秋林:百家姓》是中国艺术家陈秋林在澳大利亚的首次个展。作为中国年轻一代的优秀艺术家,其作品关注中国不断推进的政治和经济改革所带来的社会影响,把现代生活不断挑战传统价值体系所产生的种种矛盾与现状进行归纳、视觉化。艺术家自幼生活的重庆市万州城在2001年始修建的长江三峡水电工程建设中被大部分淹没,这样的成长经历使其创作紧密围绕自然与都市环境巨变带来的种种不确定性。

4A当代艺术中心此次展览将呈现部分艺术家十年来的艺术探索成果。主要作品包括系列摄影 作品《花园》(2007)、《别赋》(2007 摄影)等,该作品纪录了三峡工程导致的百万居民背井离乡的现实和疯狂扩张的城市给生活带来的魔幻和迷惘,通过行为表演的艺术手段表现了这一过程造成的生活和心理的双重影响。单屏幕录像作品《城市管理者》(2015)以三类真实人群为原型,表现了他们在城市建设及扩张过程中扮演的角色,探讨了中国社会中正在形成的新型等级关系。该作品荒诞滑稽的镜头折射出中国当代生活中个别人群可能带来的巨大而深远的社会影响。

陈秋林为此次在悉尼举办的展览专门创作了新作《广和昌的豆腐百家姓》(2015),其创作构思延续了2004年起不断实践积累的《豆腐百家姓》系列作品。豆腐是中国古老而又常用的食材,艺术家借用其象征意义,通过大量亲身实践将这一素材转化为绝佳的艺术表现媒介。此次新作着眼于悉尼城市地标性地区禧市,突出了悉尼第一家华人店铺“广和昌公司”的经济及社会意义,旨在纪念二十世纪初期第一批华人移民群体所作的巨大社会贡献。

陈秋林代表了一批为中国当代艺术发声发力的优秀艺术家,《陈秋林:百家姓》集展览、行为表演和公众项目于一体,展现了艺术家敏锐而广泛的思考和灵活运用多种媒介的艺术实践,既传达了艺术家作为个体的独特思考,又关照了移民集体身份的社会政治环境,兼顾探讨了悉尼的华人移民的过往与未来。


Chen Qiulin (b. 1975, Yichang, Hubei Province) belongs to a generation of younger artists whose work articulates the social repercussions of China’s ever-constant push for political and economic reform. Visualising the many contradictions inherent to the condition of contemporary living in a country where the tension and conflict between tradition, custom and ritual are consistently challenged, Chen Qiulin’s carefully considered photographic and video compositions are powerful provocations of progress and ambition.

Chen Qiulin has participated in numerous exhibitions in China and abroad, recently featured in 7th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, Korea, 2008; ‘Displacement: The Three Gorges Dam and Contemporary Chinese Art’, David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago, USA, 2008; ‘China Power Station II’, Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Olso, Norway, 2007; ‘THIS IS NOT FOR YOU – Sculptural Discourses’, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna, Austria, 2006-2007; and ‘The Wall: Reshaping Contemporary Chinese Art’, Millenium Art Museum, Beijing, China and Albright-Knox Art Gallery, New York, USA (touring), 2005 and a number of influential solo exhibitions in Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Max Protetch Gallery, Long March Space, Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum.

Her works have been collected by many important art galleries, collections and private collectors in the United States and Europe, for example Astrup Fearnley Museum (Norway), Denver Art Museum (USA), Logan Collection (USA), T-BA21, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (Austria), Hammer Museum (USA), the Bohen Foundation (New York, USA), Worcester Art Museum (USA), Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art (Australia), Today Art Museum (Beijing, China).

陈秋林( 1975年生于湖北省宜昌市)作为中国年轻一代艺术家,其作品关注中国不断推进的政治和经济改革带来的社会影响。陈秋林运用摄影和摄像手段进行创作,将现代生活与传统价值观的冲突矛盾以视觉形象表现出来。

陈秋林从小生长在重庆市万州城,然而这里的大部分地区在建设三峡大坝扬子江河段时淹没。于2001年启建的三峡工程规模浩大,致使百万的居民背井离乡,陈秋林著名的作品《迁移》便着眼于这项大工程带来的生理、心理双重影响。她不断探索三峡移民无处安放的生活与情感,以及从故乡记忆中产生的文化认同感。陈秋林的创作始终处于探索推进的状态,广泛应用视频,行为表演,摄影,装置等创作媒介,始终保持其独特的社会敏感性,对社会改革进程的勃勃野心提出了有力质疑,并为热点议题引入了崭新的观点及视角。

陈秋林作品参与的国内国外展览众多,近期展出包括:2008年在韩国举办的第七届光州双年展(7th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju);同年在美国芝加哥大学David and Alfred Smart 美术馆展出的《位移-三峡大坝与中国当代艺术》(Displacement: The Three Gorges Dam and Contemporary Chinese Art);2007年于挪威奥斯陆Astrup Fearnley现代艺术博物馆展出的《中国电站II》(China Power Station II);2006-2007年奥地利维也纳Thyssen-Bornemisza当代艺术馆呈现的《这不是给你的-雕塑语境》(THIS IS NOT FOR YOU – Sculptural Discourses);2005年于北京中华世纪坛美术馆和纽约诺克斯美术馆巡回展出的《墙-重构中国当代艺术》(The Wall: Reshaping Contemporary Chinese Art)。其个展在世界各地多家艺术机构亮相,其中包括洛杉矶翰墨博物馆、纽约Max Protetch画廊、北京长征空间、Eli and Edythe Broad艺术博物馆等。

陈秋林的作品被美国、欧洲等多地画廊、机构及个人收藏,例如Astrup Fearnley博物馆(挪威)、Denver艺术博物馆(美国)、Logan收藏(美国)、Thyssen-Bornemisza当代艺术馆T-BA21收藏(奥地利)、翰墨博物馆(洛杉矶)、Bohan基金会(纽约)、Worcester艺术博物馆(美国)、昆士兰现代艺术馆(澳大利亚)、今日美术馆(北京,中国)等。

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