Crouching Tiger, Hidden Agenda – Francesco Bonami

OMA.jpgAn interesting observation piece on China’s scene, and on Chinese . From the New York Times:

A studio visit to an artist in Beijing is often like 10 studio visits in Brooklyn. In China, you don’t find a painter, and a sculptor, and a video artist, but rather one artist who is working on painting, sculpture, photography, video and (why not?) performance all at the same time.

European artists often develop different bodies of work. Many Chinese artists seem to develop different bodies for each work. Complexity and change is part of Chinese philosophy. To favor one medium over the others would be to impose a silly constraint. If all is possible in contemporary art, why limit yourself?

Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts currently receives applications from some 17,000 aspiring artists annually. Maybe a third of these will be accepted. But even if only 10 percent of those succeed in some way, there will be plenty of Chinese art to collect. … But there is less and less doubt that the future, in some form or shape, will belong to the Chinese ” not only as producers of art but also as consumers of it. Their capacity to devour and digest global ideas in order to create their own new aesthetic is simply astonishing. It’s happening already with architecture. For every Koolhaas the West produces, they can produce 10 very good young Chinese architects able to deliver the same project, at the same level of quality, for about a third of the price. [Full Text]

(photo: CCTV’s new building designed by Rem Koolhaas, via arcspace.com)

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