Rhizome—Autonomous Research Exhibition of Chinese Contemporary Art



Press release: Only for immediate release

First Academic Exhibition of Today Art Museum in 2018

Rhizome—Autonomous Research Exhibition of Chinese Contemporary Art

In-depth press release

In the afternoon of January 14, 2018, Rhizome—Autonomous Research Exhibition of Chinese Contemporary Art, the first academic exhibition of Today Art Museum in 2018, is solemnly opened at Today Art Museum. Breaking the customary thinking model of group exhibition, the exhibition conducts the autonomous research and exploration of Chinese Contemporary Art under the same theme, with the art carding of representative contemporary artists as clue. Curated by Today Art Museum, this exhibition is supported by Beijing Culture and Arts Foundation.


Rhizome—Autonomous Research Exhibition of Chinese Contemporary Art is co-curated by Huang Du, a renowned curator, and Yan Yan, deputy curator of Today Art Exhibition, and a powerful curatorial team is formed; Meanwhile, Jonathan Harris, a renowned art historian and Head of the School of Art at Birmingham City University, professor He Guiyan, director of the Department of Art History at Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts, and Gao Peng, director of Today Art Museum, are invited to serve as academic committee; The exhibition collects nearly 50 works of art with different forms by eight well-known contemporary artists, Sui Jianguo, Hu Jieming, Ni Haifeng, Xu Zhen and MadeIn Company, Jiang Zhi, Gao Weigang, and Wang Luyan, showing the outstanding performance of different individuals in contemporary art in different periods.


Exhibition Background

Since the reform and opening-up policy, Chinese contemporary art has always maintained its vitality of opening up. While assimilating nourishment from the West, it has continuously merged to create a new art form that is open and diverse. Rooted in the context of socialism with Chinese characteristics, Chinese contemporary art has shown its spirit of autonomy and sense of subjectivity over the last decade or so. Whether from form to content or from concept to language, the diverse artistic practice powerfully interprets and proves “autonomy” of Chinese contemporary art—recognition of cultural identity, confidence in artistic expression, dedication to artistic individuality, and so on.

Rhizome—Autonomous Research Exhibition of Chinese Contemporary Art attempts to contemplate the tremendous influence of the emerging nations represented by China on international politics and economy under the background of globalization. Meanwhile, in the face of such a rapidly changing and developing modern society, it summarizes the unique path of development and representation presented by Chinese contemporary art, responding to the strategy of national cultural development and having certain academic value and cultural significance.


Exhibition Theme

The term “rhizome” is derived from the philosophical theory of Deleuze, a French philosopher. Likened to a complex cultural metaphor and thinking model of nomadic theory, the “rhizome” represents an open, non-central, irregular, diverse and infinitely growing form and vitality. The “rhizome” precisely describes and outlines the characteristics of Chinese contemporary art—growing continuously in integration and generating difference in growth.


Under the promotion of dual forces of external cultural agitation and internal cultural change and development, Chinese contemporary art has an irreplaceable multiplicity. However, this multiplicity is not a dendritic relationship but a symbiotic one. In order to better understand the exhibition, curators focus on three perspectives, namely “Multiplicity and Symbiosis”, “Continuity and Fission” as well as “Nonlinearity and Recoding”. Starting from three perspectives, the exhibition interprets and studies the autonomy of Chinese contemporary art.


Exhibition Presentation

Rhizome—Autonomous Research Exhibition of Chinese Contemporary Art comes to the research of the cultural vitality and achievements of this era with the means of artists’ case studies. By careful selection of artists, eight exhibiting artists are finally confirmed: Sui Jianguo, Wang Luyan, Hu Jieming, Jiang Jie, Ni Haifeng, Xu Zhen-MadeIn Company, Jiang Zhi and Gao Weigang. They represent the art of different periods (1950s, 1960s and 1970s) and their works cover a wide range of media, including sculpture, photography, video, installation, painting, el al.


The exhibition teases out and presents the nodal works of eight artists and the changing trajectory of the concept behind the works of art. The artists’ thinking and practices reveal the relationship among idea, form, language, art noumenon, cultural context and social reality. There is not only the macro and micro analysis as well as the exploration of concept and language, but also the manifestation of sociality and art noumenon. The artistic creation characteristics of every artist are summarized as the following key words: Memory, Paradox, Consume, Materiality, Refraction, Transgression, Poetic and Interchange. Therefore, everyone’s dendritic growth trajectory and other people have also co-built a more complex and diverse picture of symbiosis, not only reflecting the non-linear fission of Chinese contemporary art from linear development, but also reproducing the vitality of rational judgment and sensual imagination of artists in such a new era. The exhibition of Chinese contemporary art using eight cases as an entry point cannot summarize and show off the whole picture of its artistic vitality, but can explore the issue and meaning related to Chinese contemporary art through such a propositional exhibition.


As the first exhibition of Today Art Museum in the start of 2018, the exhibition occupies all three floors of the main hall in total, and different works of media are well-proportioned. It is reported that the exhibition will last until March 4, so stay tuned.



Exhibition Information:

Rhizome—Autonomous Research Exhibition of Chinese Contemporary Art

Organizer: Today Art Museum

Supporter: Beijing Culture and Arts Foundation

Academic Committee: Huang Du, Jonathan Harris, He Guiyan and Gao Peng

Curator: Huang Du and Yan Yan

Curatorial Team: Wang Xiaochun, Zhang Rui, Yu Jie and Zhang Yibei

Participating Artists: Sui Jianguo, Hu Jieming, Ni Haifeng, Xu Zhen-MadeIn Company, Jiang Jie, Jiang Zhi, Gao Weigang and Wang Luyan

Opening Time: 3 PM, January 14, 2018

Exhibition Time: From January 14 to March 4, 2018 (it is closed on Monday and during the Spring Festival)

Venue: Hall 1 of Today Art Museum in Beijing
















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