NOW is a collaborative programme aimed at reinvigorating discussion around the role of female contemporary artists in the art ecology of present day China. Through a series of exhibitions, commissions and events, NOW explores how the diversity of current female artistic practice transcends notions of gender difference to offer hybrid perspectives on their socio-political environment. The transformative impacts of societal change have opened new, transcultural, possibilities for female artists working today.
Launching in February 2018 in partnership with the China National Art Fund and Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, the programme includes exhibitions at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (Manchester), Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art(Middlesbrough), Nottingham Contemporary (Nottingham) and Turner Contemporary (Margate) an artist film series at HOME (Manchester) and a symposium hosted by Tate Research Centre: Asia (London).
A two-part moving image programme has been curated by Bren O’Callaghan, Senior Producer HOME Visual Art and independent curator.
Striking, beguiling, sometimes disturbing yet always rewarding, the selection provides evidence that cultural difference is often much less than we might presume. The two programmes address notions of modernity, tradition and technique; incorporating performance, pen and ink animation, stop-motion, moving portrait and photographic techniques, blind audio, new media art and experimental digital SFX, documentary and archive footage.
Miss Melissa and Mr Fish at 2:31p.m., 2013
An artful tableau of exotic flowers and a muscular dead fish combines feminine symbolism with masculine presence. A woman’s hand enters the frame, massaging; a startlingly sexual encounter that soon becomes aggressive, active, urgent – and destructive.
Post commentary, monetary likes, Morgan Freeman’s advice on reality, 2016
Chinese live streaming platforms allows live commentary from observers which rewards those transmitting with paid donations. As income streams become more lucrative, hosts compete for attention; here ranging from a cosplayer in student uniform singing baby-girl karaoke to roasting and eating rats.
A chromatic contrast between red and white echos the flush of puberty at the intersection of innocence and experience in Ma Qiusha’s Rainbow; young girls dressed in white play ring-a-ring o’ roses within a ruby dew spattered tableaux.
Bang features two people and balloons enclosed inside a flesh-coloured translucent slip as they roll from the left side of view to the right. The struggling, shoving and turning are accompanied by the rub of the balloons in this anxious caterpillar-crawl.
Chi Jang Yin
Hannah and The Crystal Ball, 2010
The Kodak Company commissioned the artist to shoot a single roll of film, with all editing in-camera. The commonplace becomes magical, shadows adopt architectural form, sunlight refracts through glassware and spilt fluid.
Third verse of the Internationale solo in Monaco, 2012
Broadcasting the politicised song through a loudhailer in Monaco, two policemen rapidly intervened to silence the artist and a discussion ensues in which the specific languages of art and politics collide.
HIVE-10468723, HIVE-10774896, HIVE-12006950, HIVE-12467538, HIVE-14499801, HIVE-18600423 (2015)
The artist uses 3D modelling to create distinctive and unsettling digital close-ups of humanoid faces with futuristic bod-mods and styles. Through this practice, Wang NewOne re-thinks the ontological existence of humanity within both the real and online worlds.
Presenting the renowned sculpture David as a commercial megastar, Guan Xiao combines cell-phone videos posted by “fans” online with images of David-themed products, to explore the proliferation and kitschification of Michelangelo’s sculpture.
Shiyuan Liu with Kristian Mondrup Nielsen
Best Friends Forever, 2017
In partnership with her husband, the artist simulates the relationship between art and politics by staging the intimate yet alien reality of a marriage via an animated Twitter exchange between Art (@GlobalArtworld) and Politics (@ImportantPolicy) respectively.
Off Takes, 2016
Tracing the present proliferation of ballroom dancing in Beijing to the two waves of ballroom dancing that first sprang up the early 1950s and post-Cultural Revolution late 1970s, entwining personal life stories with political shifts.
Pumpkin Field, 2011
Wang Xin is a certificated hypnotist and explores the creative ways to use hypnosis in art, exploring the human subconscious. Young children stroll through the waning half-light of a pumpkin field strewn with swollen and burst gourds.
Mr Sea, 2013-14
Exquisite porcelain puppets and scenery revitalise a 17th-century Chinese ghost story in which a scholar seeking peace on a remote island meets a beautiful woman who turns out to be a sea monster.
Video No.20150415, 2015
The shots are accidentally captured with a long take: a line left in the sky by a plane and the slow drift of the sun. Liang Yue explores and captures the normalcy of daily routines, seeing beauty in the unimportant.
Origin of Species, 2013
Origin of Species depicts the evolution and explosion of life over a period of two billion years, combining cell animation techniques with traditional Chinese pen-and-ink and watercolour; creating 12 hand painted images for every second of animation.