MoMA Spotlights Contemporary Chinese Art In Latest “Primary Documents” Book

Contemporary Chinese Art: Primary Documents launches in New York with October 15 Panel Discussion

Contemporary Chinese Art: Primary Documents, edited by Wu Hung and Peggy Wang

Contemporary Chinese Art: Primary Documents, edited by Wu Hung and Peggy Wang

As contemporary Chinese art continues to claim an increasingly prominent position in the international art world, MoMA is marking the publication of its latest “Primary Documents” volume – the first to focus on art from Asia. At more than 450 pages, Contemporary Chinese Art: Primary Documents, edited by Wu Hung with the assistance of Peggy Wang, meticulously traces the development of Chinese art and artists in the three decades spanning 1976 through 2006.

Arranged chronologically to guide readers through the successive stages of contemporary Chinese art, each chapter and section is prefaced with a clear explanation of the selected texts, with historical background on that period in contemporary Chinese culture. The primary documents range from manifestos of avant-garde groups and writings by artists who represent the period, to prefaces to exhibitions, critical and analytical essays, and selected official documents. The publication focuses on art from mainland China, but also follows artists who resided overseas but participated in key movements in China.

Along with the MoMA publication, the Asia Art Archive (AAA) has co-launched a documentary website, Materials of the Future: Documenting Contemporary Chinese Art, 1980-1990.

The AAA collected hundreds of texts from the 1980s, completed 75 interviews, produced a documentary film, and digitized texts from personal archives and their collections. The website provides interviews, a digitized selection of AAA’s text archives, as well as a list of other resources intended to draw attention to and help foster research into this seminal period in China’s art history. By launching the two projects simultaneously, the two organizations made the most of their combined clout, kicking off with a series of joint public programs in Hong Kong and Beijing last month.

Tomorrow, October 15, at 6:30 pm, MoMA and AAA launch Contemporary Chinese Art: Primary Documents in New York with a panel discussion featuring leading artists and critics. Speakers for the event include artist Hang Rui; Chair of Board of Directors of AAA Jane DeBevoise; artist Lin Tianmiao; Assistant Curator of Prints and Illustrated Books at MoMA Sarah Suzuki; and Wu Hung, Director of the Center for the Art of East Asia at the University of Chicago and co-editor of Contemporary Chinese Art: Primary Documents.

At the time of this posting, the event has already sold out, but Jing Daily will be there. Look for our report next week.

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