September 29th, 2014

‘Critical Connections’ Exhibition of International Contemporary Art

Exhibition Name: Critical Connections – International Contemporary Art Exhibition
Exhibition Period: September 29th – October 29th, 2014
Venue: No. 500, Daxingzhuang, Songzhuang Town, Tongzhou District, Beijing, China – (Beijing Museum of Contemporary Art)
Organisers: Beijing Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai Himalaya Art Museum and Swiss St. Urban School of Contemporary Art
Co-organiser: Beijing Wenchuang International Cultural Exchange Co. Ltd.

Participating Artists: Desheng, Chen Lingjie, Gu Li·Stan, Hanzhong, black , Huang Zheng, Jiang Heng, Jing Shijian, Li Zhanyang, Li Tian, ​​Li Yixing, Liang Hao, Liang Yankang, Liu Yanli, Luo Chaoqiong, Meng Luding, Pang Yongjie, Qiu Liang, Shi Jinyu + Dingguang Studio, Wanyi, Wu Shuang, Xu Jie, Zhang Du, Zhao Wei, Zhou Yanfeng, Zhi Xinxin, Zhao Long, Hans Eichriman (Switzerland), Bruce Beasley (USA), Michael Downs (Australia), Lijin (India), Jon Isherwood (UK), Doris Coulter (Switzerland), Naomi Kleme ( United States), Lalfontein (Switzerland) and Kenneth Snelsen (USA)

‘Critical Connections was curated by Su Duozhuang and Gertrud Aeschlimann, co-hosted by the Beijing Museum of Contemporary Art, the Shanghai Himalaya Art Museum, and the St. Urban School of Contemporary Art in Switzerland.
It is part of the ‘Resonance Plan: China to the World’, the next new practice in the framework of contemporary art. The exhibition covers a range of different art forms from paintings, photography and installations with the exhibitors including widely recognised mature artists as well as emerging new generation artists. Between the differing generations of artists, between their nationalities and regions, different inextricably linked languages have been formed through the works of the artists.

“Critical Connections” Sino-Swiss Art Exhibition is a multinational, cross-disciplinary and inter-annual comprehensive art exchange project planned by the “Resonance: Chinese Contemporary Art to the World” project team for the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Sweden. The event was supported by the Chinese Embassy in Switzerland, the Swiss Embassy in China, and the Swiss government of Lucerne. Co-hosted by the Beijing Museum of Contemporary Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art in St. Urban, Switzerland.

As the extension and expansion of the “Chinese Artists in St. Urban” Sino-Swiss Art Festival, which began in 2014, the “critical connection” is divided into two parts. One is the Chinese contemporary art held at the St. Urbane Museum of Contemporary Art in Switzerland. More than 30 works by more than 30 Chinese artists will be exhibited. The second is the Sino-Swiss Art Exhibition held at the Swiss Embassy in Beijing, which will showcase the sculptures and installations of Chinese and Swiss artists.

The so-called “connection” has three important points:

Participating groups: Although various differing language styles were invited regarding the mature artists, the “critical connections” are mostly found within the up-and-coming emerging artists. Whether it be the state of mind or path of creation, they all have their own unique personality. These “fresh” artists in the Chinese art ecological chain although at a relatively low level, are a key element in the preservation of contemporary art. In this “resonance” platform, the artist’s creation style throughout different stages and ages of their lives is one of the “connections”.

The Art Form: The “critical connection” covers a variety of artistic styles that are popular today. In this sense, “critical connections” acts as an important part of the “resonance plan” from the connection and complementarity between different art forms and artistic language, presents the rich texture of Chinese contemporary art in the current development. This is the second meaning of the “connection”.

Field: According to Bourdieu’s definition, a “field” is a network or a structure of objective relationships between positions. It is a dynamic, full-potential existence full of internal tension. These fields are diverse, such as aesthetic fields, legal fields, religious fields, political fields, cultural fields, and educational fields. From Beijing to Lucerne, from China to the West, the ‘Critical Connection’ artists participated in the large-span connection of various fields through their works. This is the third link of “connection”.

As an important part of the ‘Resonance Plan’, the ‘Critical Connection’ is designed with contemporary art as the carrier and tries to present different aspects closely related to China’s current state. From this channel, the audience can try to perceive and grasp the broad context of the rapidly changing Chinese contemporary art trend. The exhibition will exhibit more than 60 works from 33 young and middle-aged artists.

Academic Committee

Heinz Aeschlimann / Founder & President of Art St. Urban
Marlena Donohue / Professor and art critic, Otis College of Art and Design
Wolfgang Gramm / Curator & Director of Kunstwerk Carlshütte
Roy Oppenheim / Art Critic
Peng Feng / Deputy Director of the Art School of Beijing University
Qin Feng / Founder of MoCA Beijing