What About the Art? Contemporary Art from China examines the issue of creativity—a topic rarely touched upon in the multitude of exhibitions on Chinese contemporary art. The exhibition aims to illuminate a set of current practices by Chinese artists that attempt to challenge the Chinese traditional aesthetics and the Western art historical canon. By presenting each artist’s works in an independent gallery space, the exhibition highlights their individual pursuit of artistic expressions, concepts, methodologies and attitudes. Their diverse bodies of work cross the media of painting, sculpture, installation, video, performance and interactive video game design. This exhibition offers a unique perspective to the contemporary art world, shifting an emphasis from its idiomatic language of criticism, biography and context, to a focus on the artworks themselves.
Commissioned by Qatar Museums, contemporary artist CAI Guo-Qiang has devoted three years to the curatorial research and development of the large-scale exhibition What About the Art? Contemporary Art from China. The exhibition will open at Qatar Museums’ 3,500-square-metre Gallery Al Riwaq on 14 March, 2016 featuring works by 15 living artists and artist collectives born in Mainland China: Jenova CHEN, HU Xiangqian, HU Zhijun, HUANG Yong Ping, LI Liao, LIANG Shaoji, LIU Wei, LIU Xiaodong, Jennifer Wen MA, SUN Yuan & PENG Yu, WANG Jianwei, XU Bing, XU Zhen, YANG Fudong, and ZHOU Chunya.
Recent critical reception of contemporary Chinese art has focused largely on sociopolitical issues and record market prices. In response to the lack of detailed consideration given to contemporary Chinese artists’ artistic value and originality, the exhibition confronts the contemporary art world with the questions: What about the art itself? How do these Chinese artists contribute to the creativity of contemporary art?