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IVAM Opens First Exhibition in Europe by Chinese Artist Wang Xieda

In Uncategorized on July 31, 2010 at 3:40 am

Chinese artist Wang Xieda poses between his sculptures ‘Sages’s Saying 013’ (L) and ‘Sages’s Saying 058′ (R) at an exhibition on his work organized by the Valencian Institute of Modern Art (IVAM) in Valencia, Spain, 27 July 2010. The exhibition, that was inaugurated today and can be seen until 29 August, shows 12 sculptures and 14 drawings of the Chinese artist for the first time in Europe. EPA/MANUEL BRUQUE.

VALENCIA.- The exhibition presents for the first time in a European museum this artist’s work brings together 12 sculptures and 14 drawings Xieda Wang’s calligraphy, Chinese artist who combines in his works the influence of calligraphy in the Eastern tradition and contemporary currents of Western art .

This is the first exhibition of the Chinese artist Wang Xieda in an European museum. It consists of 14 drawings and 12 sculptures that shows his artistic production. This production allows us to appreciate the expressiveness of the artist who moves away from figurative tradition and from the limits of the traditional artistic structures. His work conceptually goes into new sculptural techniques. Wang Xieda’s work combines classical techniques using ink and paper from the traditional calligraphic arts with an sculptural abstraction reminiscent of western avant-garde.

The catalogue published on the occasion of the exhibition shows the exhibited works and publishes texts about the artist written by Consuelo Císcar, the IVAM’s director, by the director of the Z-Art, Centre of Shanghai, Gong Yunbiao and by the exhibition’s curator Li Xu. It also includes a chronological biography of the artist.

Wang Xieda (Liaoning, China 1968) is an atypical sculptor who exhibits his drawings and large works made with rice paper and charcoal on canvas. His bronze moulds can remind western spectators of the attenuated and “drawn” forms in the space of Giacometti and David Smith. However, Wang Xieda’s sculpture derives, as it is said, from Wang Xizhi, the calligraphic master of the fourth century. The transformation of the two-dimensional works into three-dimensional ones is analogue to the use of his own drawings that have 1.2 meters height. Those works are the starting point of his smaller sculptures: abstract representation of bulls, birds and human figures. They are also a vivid reminder of the fact that the drawings can provide a closer and more intimate perspective of the artist’s thoughts and sometimes, it can be an opportunity to approach the unconsciousness.

In the last twenty years, Wang Xieda, who lives and works in Shanghai, has been devoted to the study of text and calligraphy. The artist isn’t just an admirer of the ancient China, but an admirer of all the ancient civilizations of the world. After years of studying, he realized that many of the pictograms of the first human civilizations were similar. Pictograms were the common way to represent the nature synthesizing the abstract forms in simple metaphors. Lines are the communication language and the more basic and effective way of dissemination taking into account all the visual forms. Chinese characters, a kind of hieroglyphics’ extension used during the human civilization, are still used today. Former Chinese characters began crystallizing during the Banpo phase 6000 years ago. The first textual system totally completed appeared in the Chinese history during the Shang Dinasty in the fourteenth century BC. Like in some other ancient civilizations, the original characters were based on representations of natural images. That leads to a theory about the traditional Chinese art which ensures that painting and calligraphy have the same origin.

Wang Xieda’s recent works show an old style and an elegant pace, reminiscent of the aesthetic origins of the ancient civilizations. His sculptures and paintings create concise and unforeseeable moulds by using simple lines. Wang explores an abstract and purely aesthetic feeling through these visual forms, as for example with primitive totems and the first calligraphic symbols. He perfectly controls the harmony of the dimensions while creating a suitable space. A lot of spectators fall in love with Xieda’s works due to the fact that spectators and author simultaneously see the eternal beauty of concision.

In contrast to the changes of the twenty-first century, cultural and national traditions should find a new and contemporary language in order not to get out of time regarding the aesthetic expressions. This is the only way for younger people to study and inherit the traditions voluntarily. As an artist, Wang Xieda has looked for a common artistic and human experience. His efforts aren’t intended to repeat the past but to use the simplicity and extent of the ancient art in order to recreate it. What makes his art contemporary and timeless is the clear interpretation of the ancient language with the current syntax that he uses to express his experiences and feelings. We can see a natural and serene confidence in Wang Xieda’s works even in difficult and variable environments, exemplified by his competent expression of the national aesthetic. This exhibition that takes place at the IVAM is the first individual exhibition of Wang Xieda out of his country. We hope that the work will be appreciated and understood by western spectators.


Sotheby’s to hold first ever international auction house sale of calligraphy in Doha

In Uncategorized on July 29, 2010 at 5:37 am


Sotheby’s London recently announced it will hold the first ever international auction house sale dedicated solely to calligraphy in Doha, Qatar, at The Ritz-Carlton Doha hotel, on 15 December. The groundbreaking calligraphy auction Hurouf: The Art of the World will showcase various works ranging from very early Islamic calligraphies to a mix of modern and contemporary Arabic, Farsi and Ottoman Turkish works.

Highlights of the forthcoming auction will travel through the Gulf Region prior to sale, one of which being Ali Omar Ermes’ The Fourth Ode which has an estimated price ranging from USD250,000 to USD350,000.

Ali Omar Ermes’s ‘The Fourth Ode’ (acrylic and ink on paper).
Calligraphy is an art form that has influenced the Doha art scene for many years, and Sotheby’s believes this sale represents the region’s past and present talents. Says Roberta Louckx, Sotheby’s Executive Vice President and Head of Sotheby’s in Qatar, in a the press release announcing the sale:

We are delighted to return to Doha later this year with an inaugural auction devoted to ‘calligraphy’, a theme that has inspired and informed the art of this rich and diverse culture throughout the ages – from the production of the first Kufic Qur’ans to the modern and contemporary artworks of Farhad Moshiri. Sotheby’s is strongly committed to the region, and we are extremely excited to present for sale, in Qatar, the creative endeavours of some of the region’s most talented artists, past and present.

According to the press release, the forthcoming calligraphy sale is built on the success of last year’s Doha sales. After opening an office in Doha in 2008, Sotheby’s held maiden sales in March last year during which an Indian carpet made of pearls and gems fetched USD5.5 million, although the Bloomberg article which reported on this sale also mentioned that the prices of the auctions were disappointing in general. As Dalya Islam, Director of Sotheby’s Middle East Arab & Iranian Art Department, states in the press release,

Last year at our Doha sales Sotheby’s achieved solid success for works by highly sought-after Arab artists such as Chafic Abboud, Nabil Nahas, Ayman Baalbaki, Yousef Ahmad and Ali Hassan. In order to build on this, we have decided to devote a sale to works of significant interest to the region, focusing on calligraphy. The Arabic script has stimulated artists for more than a millennium, and is still a highly regarded and revered art form that reflects the rich history of the region. The auction will emphasise the enduring legacy of Islamic art by tracing the development of calligraphy, with a focus on its contemporary manifestation.

A quest for identity

In Uncategorized on July 21, 2010 at 4:10 am

Janice Tai experiences a new vision of Indonesian art.


A DISTINCT rasping sound was coming from the inner recesses of the gallery. Assuming that it was the murmurings of the crowd gathered inside, I turned my attention back to the paintings near the entrance.

But it was hard to ignore as it went on interminably. Finding myself drawn to the source of the sound, I saw, to my surprise, strings of pearls attached to a black rattan husk, tapping rhythmically against the vibrating husk.   

Such curious exhibits are aplenty in the latest exhibition held in the second week of July at the National Gallery, Central Jakarta, which showcased works from prominent local artists.

The Indonesian contemporary art scene is one of the most vibrant in Southeast Asia, so I jumped at the chance to check out the exhibition. 

Titled “No Direction Home”, it is not just another stuffy and obscure exhibition. It tells of the unique Indonesian quest for identity, be it personal, artistic or national.

“It’s artists’ restlessness. Artists are constantly questioning their identity. ‘Home’ represents our origin, our history, our identity… this struggle is everlasting and not something new in this period,” said Aminuddin TH Siregar, the curator of the exhibition.

That is why the works selected for the exhibition span a period of 50 years, from the 1960s until today.

Instead of themes that grapple with its colonial legacy, the works here confront current concerns of identity amidst cultural diversity and technological progress.

For example, Gusmen Heriadi in his painting titled “Tamu” (Guest) shows a massive array of sofas, facing various directions, with lethargic hooded men sinking into them. It is perhaps his take on how the increasing affluence of the city that has resulted from the influx of foreigners has brought forth stagnancy and blindness. 

This sense of aimlessness also surfaces in a painting by a renowned local artist Isa Perkasa, titled “Pemda #6” (Local Government) which shows civil servants either literally chained to a clock, flattened by a chair or eating at their desk while having foot reflexology. Astutely, she depicts the deadening monotony of life in the civil service and the brashness of certain officials who put their creature comforts as priority.  
Identity is also intricately linked to language. Ugo Untoro’s “I’m Today” bears out the anxiety of Indonesians in mastering the English language. His painting shows the phrase “Yes I am getting better now” with three cancellations of the word “now” (which are messy scrawls) to finally reveal the word “NOW” in highly regular and block letters.

Ugo Untoro’s “I’m Today” PHOTO: Janice Tai
Just as Untoro’s painting is an exploration of the crossroads between language, identity and conformity, artist Arahmaiani’s series of three untitled paintings shows the devastating impact of censorship on identity.

In the first painting, we see a lady in nude, with defined breasts, waist deep in water. In the second, the lady is submerged chest deep in the water and she wears a tortured expression. The last painting shows her with water only reaching to her knees, but the outlines of her body has blended into the background, with her breasts as mere smoky shadows.   

Paintings aside, the mixed media installations and audio-visual displays reflect an increasing experimentation with materials and mediums which not only enliven the exhibition, but also provide provocative commentaries.

A fascinating installation by another famous local artist Agung Kurniawan, titled “Potret Seorang Akuntan” (Portrait of an Accountant) makes use of materials like iron and spray paint.

"Portrait of an Accountaint" by Agung Kurniawan

“Portrait of an Accountant” by Agung Kurniawan PHOTO: Janice Tai
Iron rods are bent to create a picture of an accountant writing at his desk, with a typewriter placed beside him. As light shines on the iron rods, the shadow formed on the wall is a duplicate of what is seen on the rods. In this age of mechanical reproduction where art loses its identity through commoditization, the form in which this installation takes is truly an apt one. 

Other artists show that identity is not an abstract concept, but one which is central to life and inevitably, death.

“Recovery prayer beads” is an installation by Astari that has scribblings like “acceptance”, “gratitude” and “vulnerability” written huge orange prayer beads. Between the beads lie body parts like the heart, brain and skull, welded in metal.  It is reminiscent of the trauma that accompanies violent deaths.

Suddenly, the subdued, swishing sound of the pearls against the black rattan husk made sense to me. Titled “Dzikir” (Remembrance), the sound mimics the religious ritual of repetitive chanting.

Art tourism to boost Malaysia

In Uncategorized on July 21, 2010 at 4:05 am

KUALA LUMPUR: Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen has gone another step to aggressively put Malaysia on the map by promoting “art tourism”.

“We are positioning Malay­sian art as a tourism product. We encourage tourists to visit the country not only because of food, beaches or shopping but admire homegrown art pieces,” said Ng during an exclusive interview with BBC World News’ Fast:Track host Fiona Foster at the 1Malaysia Contem­porary Art Tourism 2010 (MCAT 2010) held at Galeri Seri Perdana here yesterday. .

Selling point: Dr Ng explaining Malaysian art to Foster at Galeri Seri Perdana yesterday.

Ng added that most tourists viewed Malaysia as a developing country which had not attained cosmopolitan status. She hoped positioning local art as a tourism component would boost the country’s image.

“Malaysia has talented artists who have exhibited beautiful contemporary art pieces. Hopefully tourists will purchase these pieces as souvenirs,” she said.

MCAT is an innovative tourism product by the Tourism Ministry. The festival, which ends in September, features internationally-acclaimed Malaysian artists like Abdul Multhalib Musa, Fauzan Omar, Annuar Rashid, Yusoff Ghani, Eng Hwee Chu and A. Jegadeva.

Fast:Track delivers the latest travel news from the industry itself, offering insights into exclusive and desirable places to visit while looking at issues affecting both the business and leisure travellers.

The programme is aired on Saturday (6.30am and 8.30pm) and Sunday (2.30am and 2.30pm) on BBC World (Astro Channel 512).

Fast:Track’s special on Malaysia features MCAT 2010, Taman Negara National Park and Foster’s homestay experience in Kampung Sungai Haji Dorani, Sabak Bernam, Selangor.

“Malaysia is a fascinating, picturesque place. Through this programme, viewers will get to know what the country has to offer for tourists than a regular holiday,” said Foster, a TV presenter and journalist, who has also spent several years working in the United States.

2010 Martell Artist of the Year: Zhou Chunya

In Uncategorized on July 21, 2010 at 3:56 am

BEIJING— Zhou Chunya, whose 30-year retrospective was held at the Shanghai Art Museum in June and who has just been named one of Martell’s 2010 Artists of the Year, is a leading member of the generation of artists who first brought Chinese contemporary art to the attention of a global audience in the late 1990s. On the face of it, his life follows a familiar trajectory of other members of that generation.

He grew up during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) and came of age in time to take advantage of the re-opening of the universities at the close of that decade and embrace the ideas from the West that flowed into China when Deng Xiaoping launched the open-door policy in 1978. Taking up a place in the 1980s avant-garde movement, Zhou, like many of his peers, then spent the post-1989 chill slowly building his career. When the world finally came knocking in the late 1990s, he was ready.

Yet Zhou has never been one to follow the script. As a student, when his classmates were all heading for the booming coastal provinces, he went to Tibet and there produced a series of loving depictions of nomad life which, in all their innocent “socialist realist” splendor, have the power to move even today. Later he went to Germany where he studied at Kassel, the home of Documenta.

Over the years, he has continued to pursue a singular course, devoting himself primarily to developing his passionate and ever-more-fluid painting technique.

Many know him best for his series of paintings and occasional sculptures of his dog, a German Shepherd. Due to a chance splash of color one day, he decided to always render his dog paintings in green, and over the years we have watched his pet grow older, and perhaps a little angrier.

Of late, his art has been of a completely different bent, bucolic and erotic, with a series of works depicting peach blossom orchards. These latest canvases seem to complete a circle for Zhou, hearkening back to his early scenes of Tibetan life, with their celebration of natural beauty, sensual and free.

(The 2010 Martell Artists of the Year were honored Friday July 16 in Beijing. The other artists chosen are photographers Bettina Rheims and Feng Hai, and sculptor Liu Jianhua.)

HK ink art works on display in Shanghai

In Uncategorized on July 21, 2010 at 3:54 am

An exhibition showcasing the development and unique characteristics of ink art in Hong Kong will be held at the Shanghai Art Museum until August 9.

The Legacy & Creations – Ink Art vs Ink Art exhibition features 46 outstanding works by Hong Kong’s talented ink art practitioners.

The exhibition displays the characteristics and achievements of new ink art in Hong Kong. It also aims to encourage cultural exchange among ink artists from Hong Kong and the Mainland.

Ink art is a unique Chinese art form with a long history. During more than 1,000 years of transformation and evolution, ink art has become a fusion of the spirit and accomplishment of different schools and masters past and present.

Through artistic innovations ink art has transcended time and borders and plays a vital role in displaying the diversity and identity of Chinese art with international horizons.

Ink art took root in Hong Kong in the early 20th century. Since then, painters have branched out from the traditional approach to develop their own distinctive styles, often based on new multimedia and digital techniques with global influences.

Painting academy incubator boosts art growth

In Uncategorized on July 21, 2010 at 3:50 am


The largest art training center for Chinese painting was set up on Sunday in Tianjin. (Photo source:


BEIJING, July 20 (Xinhuanet) — The largest art training center for Chinese painting was set up on Sunday in Tianjin, thanks to the joint efforts of The Ministry of Culture, China National Academy of Painting, and the Tianjin Municipal Government. The facility will ultimately become a giant incubator for developing the talent of creative artists.

Established in Panlonggu Valley of Tianjin, the art center is designed to integrate multiple functions, including collective creation workshops, galleries, and individual studios. This 10,000 square meter area will serve as a platform for art creation, research, and teaching upon completion. The China National Academy of Painting is also planning to hold exhibitions, forums, and competitions at the center to further promote traditional Chinese art.

The center is initiated by China National Academy of Painting, but its future operation will be run by local enterprises. As a new way of collaboration between corporations and art institutions, the Academy can better utilize its advantage as a talent-pool, while the enterprises can make their contributions based on their business strength.

Yang Xiaogang, director of China National Academy of Painting, said, “The growth of our academy should not only rely on government support. It also needs social input. To set up such a new incubator for art creation in Tianjin is one way for us to explore the possibility.”

In recent years, the culture industry has maintained rapid growth, giving constant support to the national economy. During the culture fever, traditional Chinese painting is gaining more appreciation in the market. Therefore, the new art center is hoping to solve business issues and allow the art industry to enjoy sustainable growth.

Chinese art enchants Chile

In Uncategorized on July 14, 2010 at 8:57 am

BEIJING, July 6 (Xinhuanet) — As far as the distance is between China and Chile, it turns out that art is the perfect way to unite the two nations at opposite ends of the planet. Let’s take a look at an exhibition of contemporary Chinese art that has opened in the Chilean capital Santiago.

From the realistic depiction of Chinese coal miners, to the abstract handling of figures in traditional Chinese operas, the 83 works unveil a panorama of contemporary Chinese art in mediums including oil paintings, sculptures, and installations.

Entitled “Traversing Horizon — Contemporary Chinese Art Show,” the exhibit marks the first time that Chinese modern and contemporary art was displayed in Chile.

The exhibit is part of a week of Chinese art in Chile, dubbed “Week of Art: China Today,” with the modern art exhibition, followed by an academic conference and three performances of folklore.

Lv Fan, Chinese Ambassador to Chile, stressed that the artistic events came at an opportune time, as this year is the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Chile.

Jorge Pizarro, president of Senate of Chile, said, “This art show is a gift from China for the bicentenary of the beginning of Chile’s fight for independence. You’ll have to know that these excellent works of art are from the furthest country from Chile on Earth.”

These pieces by 24 Chinese artists will be on show at Chile’s National Art Museum for a month. Chinese art lovers will also be given the opportunity to learn about Chilean contemporary art when it is presented at the Beijing Art Biennial this September.



In Uncategorized on July 13, 2010 at 4:24 am

来源 :《北京商报》



In Uncategorized on July 13, 2010 at 4:21 am

来源 :《华夏时报》

  从雅昌艺术网吴冠中个人油画和个人国画指数图可以看出,近几年来吴冠中作品涨势惊人,其油画作品从 2008年秋拍时起,价格就持续上涨。今年春拍中拍出5712万元高价的《长江万里图》,2006年秋拍时候的成交价为3795万元,短短三四年间价格就上涨了约2000万元。