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28 Chinese

Asian Art Museum, San Francisco

The exhibition features 48 artworks, revealing powerful responses to China today, as well as perspectives and attitudes towards tradition. The show is the culmination of more than a decade's worth of research by art collectors Don and Mera Rubell.

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Curated by: Allison Harding

This June, visitors to the Asian Art Museum will get a snapshot of some of China's most exciting artists from the country's booming contemporary art scene. The museum's special summer exhibition 28 Chinese offers glimpses of contemporary Chinese art through a group of 28 artists, ranging from those in the spotlight like Liu Wei, He Xiangyu, Huang Yong Ping and Xu Zhen to the internationally acclaimed Zhang Huan and Ai Weiwei. These artists have made a significant impact on the art world and expanded definitions of contemporary art in China. The exhibition features 48 artworks, revealing powerful responses to China today, as well as perspectives and attitudes towards tradition.

28 Chinese is the culmination of more than a decade's worth of exploration and research by art collectors Don and Mera Rubell. Between 2001 and 2012, the Rubells conducted six research trips to China, where they visited 100 artists' studios in Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Xi'an. The Rubells acquired artworks from 28 artists in a multiplicity of mediums, from painting and installation to photography and new media. Organized by guest curator Allison Harding, the Asian Art Museum's presentation will be the first exhibition on the West Coast for many of these artists.

While artworks in 28 Chinese are only a sample of all that Chinese contemporary art has to offer, they represent a few of the most notable Chinese artists working today, as identified by two preeminent art collectors. A highlight of the exhibition is Zhu Jinshi's monumental installation, Boat, which is 12 meters long, made from 8,000 sheets of paper commonly used in Chinese calligraphy and painting. Visitors will notice row upon row of carefully stacked paper overlapping bamboo rods suspended from the ceiling with cotton thread. Another highlight is a large-scale painting by Li Shurui from her "Light" series—works that reproduce the look and feel of light in different environments, from arctic landscapes to nightclubs. The exhibition also features Ai Weiwei's Table with Two Legs (2008), Xu Zhen's embroidered canvases, He Xiangyu's installation Cola Project (2009–10), Qiu Zhijie's Tattoo-2 (2000) and a screening room featuring a wide range of new video works, including Huang Ran's Blithe Tragedy (2011) and Fang Lu's Lovers Are Artists (Part One) (2012).

One of the featured artists, Yan Xing is presenting a new performance work called Lessons on the Far East at the museum in a special Thursday night program on June 4. In the hopes of opening up a new mode of debate, the artist has staged a compelling academic lecturethat blurs the lines of reality and performance. Lessons on the Far East will take place under the auspices of the Honourable East India Institute (HEII). This institution is a new organization created by the artist, designed to explore ways of researching and reexamining various subjects in the field of East Asian Studies. In this unique and site-specific performance the artist will collaborate with Chinese history professors Thomas Mullaney (Stanford University) and Jeffrey Wasserstrom (University of California, Irvine). Lessons on the Far East hopes to provide new avenues for deciphering and framing an emerging regionalism, and for presenting the insights thus gained to a global audience. There'll be other Thursday night programs held in conjunction with 28 Chinese; details available on museum's website.

Following the Asian Art Museum's presentation of 28 Chinese, the exhibition will travel to the San Antonio Museum of Art (September 5, 2015 to January 4, 2016). The exhibition premiered in Miami at the Rubell Family Collection on December 4, 2013 and was on view through August 1, 2014.

Over the past 15 years, the Asian Art Museum has made a concentrated effort to include contemporary art in its exhibition programs and acquisition pursuits. On September 4 the museum will present First Look: Collecting Contemporary at the Asian, an original exhibition showcasing contemporary art in the museum's collection.

Press contacts:
Tim Hallman 415.581.3711
Annie Tsang 415.581.3560

Asian Art Museum
200 Larkin St San Francisco, CA 94102
open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 AM to 5 PM
on Thursdays until 9 PM.
Closed Mondays
General Admission:
$15 for adults, $10 for seniors (65+), college students with ID, and youths (13–17).
FREE for children under 12 and SFUSD students with ID

28 Chinese
dal 4/6/2015 al 15/8/2015

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