Beijing Police Block Events Surrounding Avant-garde Art Exhibit Marking 20 Years Since 1989

A 20 year anniversary of a ground-breaking Chinese exhibit has been banned in Beijing, in the run-up to the commemoration of the 1989 democracy movement and military crackdown. From the Los Angeles Times:

Among the expected guests for the art anniversary events was the daughter of Zhao Ziyang, the former premier who supported the 1989 student protests and was later treated like a nonentity by the government.

"I'm not disappointed for the exhibit, I'm disappointed because our system is still so out of date, still so conservative," curator Gao Minglu said. "It's been 20 years, and it's still the same."

The original "China/Avant-Garde Exhibition" was groundbreaking for Chinese art and a clear challenge to the political establishment.

Visitors to the National Art Gallery were shocked by works such as a flesh-colored inflatable object with obvious sexual connotations, flanked by blown-up condoms and surgical gloves. The exhibition gained even more notoriety when an artist with a handgun shot up her own work on the show's first day; police arrived and the exhibit was closed for several days.

Read more about the 1980s contemporary art scene in China and the China/Avant garde exhibition, via ArtZine.

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