11/06/2016 - 12:00 - 21/08/2016 - 19:00
Para Site 藝術空間
香港鰂魚涌英皇道677號 榮華工業大廈22樓

Jun 11 – Aug 21, 2016

Para Site is pleased to present That Has Been, and May Be Again, an exhibition opening on 10 June and on view at Para Site throughout the summer. It is curated by Leo Li Chen and Wu Mo and is the second in a series of exhibitions presented by emerging Hong Kong curators. That Has Been, and May Be Again includes new and existing works by Chen Qiulin, Hu Jieming, Jiang Zhi, Leung Chi Wo, Li Jin, Li Jinghu, Liu Chuang, Liu Ding, Ma Liuming, Qian Weikang, Wang Youshen, Yan Lei, Yin Xiuzhen, Zheng Bo, and Zhu Jia.

The exhibition draws the attention to the collective anxiety and unease in China of the 1990s, following the failure of the student movement in 1989. This period in China appears on the surface to be "fractured", with previous experiences, political, economic, and everyday, gradually losing their significance. Contemporary artists, who had rapidly accomplished their modernistic transformation in the 1980s, had to seek or create brand new experiences. In the process, the forces of globalization and the internal discussions around "modernism/post-modernism" shaped the tensions connected to the production, mobilization, and institutionalization of art. The translation and introduction of the concepts “to curate” and “curator” in this period, added new significance and complexity to contemporary Chinese art.

After the “1989 China Avant-Garde” exhibition ended in controversy and the student movement ended in tragedy, the only two apparent paths for many artists who remained in mainland China to pursue their practice seemed to be the “international” and the “market”. These two systems were of course connected, gaining recognition through the international system of exhibitions and the academia often translating into market recognition. A distorted impression of the Western lifestyle, a “Vanity Fair logic”, accompanied by corresponding desires, impacted the perception, choice, and practice of these Chinese artists in this period. Another group of artists, however, tackled issues such as commodification and materialism, while conducting unofficial and underground self-organized exhibitions. They aimed to separate themselves from the main discussions in the art world, wanting instead to develop localized perspectives on the identity and historical significance of contemporary Chinese art, or to nostalgically retrace memories of an individual life autonomous from materialism.

That Has Been, and May Be Again is an attempt to outline all of these directions, from the desires, already nurtured in the 1980s and widespread in the 1990s and their legacy and impact on today’s art scene, to the tensions and backlash they have generated in Chinese contemporary art. Desire is not limited to basic urge, but also refers to the awakening of individual will, subjectivity, and the subsequent exploration of “authentic existence”. These forces grew to challenge the dominant position of collectivism (itself changing in its manifestations in this period) in China, and they became the new spiritual and material aspirations of many Chinese artists and provided them with the fundamental motivation for a change in artistic medium and methods.

Most of the artworks in this exhibition were created in the 1990s, and represent various aspects of individual artistic practices in this period of rapid social change. Rather than trailing in the footsteps of the mainstream historical narrative of contemporary Chinese art, which was mainly constructed around the concepts of “Political Pop” and “Cynical Realism”, this exhibition hopes to present the complex and ambiguous spirit of artistic creation in the 1990s, as well as to reflect the conflicts and arguments around the international and the market, within which the horizon of self-imagination of many Chinese artists were inevitable. This self-imagination was a way for Chinese artists to engage in a form of passive resistance that was both socially mindful and immersed within the market and international stage.

That Has Been, and May Be Again also intends to take a broader historical view. Younger artists who are continuing to pay attention to the relevant social changes that have occurred after 1989 are invited not only to review the last almost three decades of history, but also to respond to current realities. Their artworks reflect the covert origins of current social problems of China at the end of the 1980s and re-examine the way artistic practice from that period changed the language and development of art thereafter. The 1990s is not simply a fractured period of time. While it carries the unrest and pain that was left over from the 1980s into the present, it also foments new historical causations, or in this regard, that that has been, and may be again.

Leo Li Chen is an independent curator, research associate at the City University of Hong Kong, and participant in Para Site’s 2015 Workshops for Emerging Professionals.

Wu Mo is an art critic, PhD candidate in the Department of Fine Arts at The Chinese University of Hong Kong and participant in Para Site’s 2016 Workshops for Emerging Professionals.

Para Site is Hong Kong's leading contemporary art centre and one of the oldest and most active independent art institutions in Asia. It produces exhibitions, publications and discursive projects aimed at forging a critical understanding of local and international phenomena in art and society.

Para Site is financially supported by the Springboard Grant under the Arts Capacity Development Funding Scheme of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

The content of this program does not reflect the views of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.


6月 11 – 8月 21, 2016

Para Site藝術空間隆重呈獻暑期大展《世變》,展覽將於6月10日舉行開幕。本次展覽由陳立與武漠共同策劃,是與香港新進策展人合作系列所發表的第二檔展覽。《世變》展出15位藝術家的新舊作品,包括陳秋林、胡介鳴、蔣志、梁志和、李津、李景湖、劉窗、劉鼎、馬六明、錢喂康、王友身、顏磊、尹秀珍、鄭波以及朱加。

《世變》一展聚焦於1989的學生運動後,中國藝術界在1990年代所表現出的集體性焦慮與無措,該時期常常陷入被割裂的歷史敘述之中——將近一個世紀的社會主義隨著蘇聯解體、東歐演變而告一段落,原有的(政治、經濟、日常生活)經驗在逐漸失效,在80年代快速完成現代主義進程的中國當代藝術家從而不得不開始尋找、或製造新的經驗。在此過程中,外部的全球化與內部的關於「現代-後現代」之轉變的討論成為左右藝術生產、流通與制度化的張力。 而隨著「策展/策展人」概念的傳入與譯介,1990年代的中國當代藝術情境相比此前更增加了一重意義空間。






陳立,獨立策展人;香港城市大學研究助理;2015年Para Site藝術空間國際研討會暨新銳人才工作坊參與者。

武漠,藝評人;香港中文大學藝術系博士候選人;2016年Para Site藝術空間國際研討會暨新銳人才工作坊參與者。

Para Site藝術空間為香港首屈一指的當代藝術中心,亦是亞洲歷史最悠久、最活躍的獨立藝術中心之一。成立宗旨在透過展覽、出版刊物等活動,開展並促進在地與國際間的對話,希冀打造一個對當代藝術、社會現象提出批判性論述及理解的平台。

Para Site藝術空間獲香港特別行政區政府「藝能發展資助計劃」的躍進資助。