Walsh Gallery

Practice: A Perspective from Chinese Video Art


Dates: Nov 30 2007 - Jan 19 2008

Opening Reception: Nov 30 2007

Curated By Leng Lin

Practice: A Perspective from Chinese Video Art is a new media exhibition of seven artists living in China. The show includes works by some of the most famous video artists in China now as well as several emerging talents. The exhibit is curated by Leng Lin, one of the most revered curators of contemporary art living in Beijing today. The exhibit features videos by Song Dong, Zhao Bandi, Huang Kui, He Yunn chang, Zhang Qing, Qin Ga, and Qiu Zhijie. The show opens Friday, November 30th from 5 - 8 pm and runs until January 19.

Practice: A Perspective from Chinese Video Art explores the ability to categorize and achieve meaning through practice or process. The definition of "practice" (lianxi) in the Xinhua Chinese dictionary reads: "repeated studying, or operating, in order to achieve skilled mastery." This idea is a hallmark of contemporary Chinese art. and this exhibition of new media work aims to investigate this quality of repeated practice. Against the backdrop of a global art world, these six Chinese artists explore the dynamics of process-oriented art. It is not through purpose that this work achieves meaning, but rather through process that an exercise in self-consciousness can be conducted and finally turned into a work of art. Practice is an exhibit of that art.

In this exhibition seven artists each interpret the concept of practice through their own work. Through a repetitive process, Song Dong literally digests a landscape through the course of his video, a landscape which features elements of traditional Chinese visual culture. This process of repetition makes apparent the artist's attitude towards the understanding of his national art today. Zhao Bandi's Bandi's 2008 uses a very individual method to practice a mechanism of social performance. Through individual practice, he celebrates possibilities of individual performance. QiQin Ga and He Yunchang also emphasize a kind of process while Zhang Qin, through a displacement of site, makes "practice" emerge. Finally, Qiu Zhijie performs calligraphy from the cultural revolution in a loop which includes him magically undoing each character after he has created it. Through the repetitive action in this process, the artist appears to question the validity of the very words he creates. The ability to be a master calligrapher is the ultimate culmination of practice.

These artists have been included in major biennials around the world such as the 2006 Gwangju Biennale (Korea), the 2005 Biennale of Contemporary Chinese Art (Montpellier, France), the 2004 Sao Paolo Biennale (Brazil) and the 2002 Guangzhou Biennale (China). They have also shown in international museums such as the Victoria and Albert Museum (London), the International Center for Photography (New York), the House of World Cultures (Berlin) and the University of Chicago's Smart Museum.