Contemporary Art in China: Adya Zecha

The art world in China was seen as being methodical and systemised, with few Chinese artists doing their own independent work, without influence from private galleries and other frameworks, which define what Chinese contemporary art is.

China’s pronounced lack of freedom and justice has had a major influence on the art the country has produced with references to social and political issues. The Xijing Men (Pauline Yao “Making It Work”, use video, installation and performance art to communicate the idea of a Western capital of China, Xijing. In creating this imaginary ‘space’, the Xijing men embrace the absurdities of mythmaking and even created their own version of the Olympics, called the Xijing Olympics, which was presented in a humorous manner and played on the mania that the real Olympics had stirred the year before, in the citizens of China. The artists competed in absurd events, like three way table tennis using a shoe as a paddle, which mocked the seriousness of China’s most popular sport and the solemnity in which the Chinese government had treated the multi million dollar event. Through doing this, the artists aimed to tear down the the highly scripted notions of the Olympics and create an aimless and playful ceremony.

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