Bang & Lee,Ma Liuming,Li Yousong,Yang Shaobin,Yin Zhaoyang,Yue Minjun,Zhang Xiaogang,Zhang Dali: The Game of Realism

2005. 05. 15-06. 15

It has always been hard to distinguish between the individual style and the collective style in Chinese contemporary art. Usually, the function of individual is presented by the power of collectivity, while the aesthetic space produced by personality is shown in the gap between personalities. To experience and understand such an aesthetic space, we will need a way of accumulating the personalities. From this point of view, there is a strong characteristic of socialism. Collective target became the basis on which the power of personality could be liberated. This is a Neo-socialistic Utopia, which also has an attitude of violent utilitarianism and strategic consciousness. It is because of such attitude that narration became one of the most important methods of expression in Chinese contemporary art. The Socialistic Realism that we had experienced before has changed into a game about the Socialistic Realism. According to the “New Chinese Dictionary of Words”, the initial explanation of the word game is: “an entertainment related to living and working, and promoting physical and mental development.” Therefore, Socialistic Realism became a vital element of the promotion of mental development, and of the onward progress of Chinese contemporary art from a broader sense.
In the Game of Realism, there are only six different paintings (which constitute an exhibition space). They rely on one another, communicate with one another, and compose a game. The six different artworks came from six separate artists. They are: Li Yousong, Yin Chaoyang, Wang Yin, Yue Minjun, Zhang Dali and Zhang Xiaogang. These 6 different artworks focus on the social spirit, style and mood between 1950s and 1980s, with the intention to develop a neo-utopian spirit in the attitude of exercise. This neo-utopian spirit can be accomplished in real society by sharing.
The latest series of Scenery created by Zhang Xiaogang has brought the meaning of Politics into the concept of daily Scenery according to the description of countryside—the Canaan where the dream of Chinese society came into truth in the 1970s. Here Politics are blurring in the sight of entertainment, recreation and history, or become the need of some sort of social consumption through history. Yue Minjun, Yin Zhaoyang, Wangyin and Li Yousong all chose extendedly the special images in a special period ofChinaand put in new feelings. Yue Minjun has enlarged the familiar images and cleared away the political figure who need to be presented. Political publication has changed into special tourist advertisement in this exaggerating manipulation, and the passion of idealism was reproduced in a certain distance. Yin Zhaoyang is also finding his own place in such special image and expecting to gain a new and true spirit of responsibility. Different from Yue and Yin, on smooth panels with watercolor, Wang Yin reproduces a kind of fruit, which used to be apotheosized. While the process of the watercolor fading naturally off the smooth panels and the changing form of artworks makes the mythology reopen into a kind of living history and live experiences. Li Yousong also reproduced some aspects of collective history according to obvious personal means and touches. This is a passion based on some searching. Such passion is originated from the senses of dissatisfiedly self and self-implement. Among these artists, Zhang Dali presents in his paintings the personal history with no identities into an open of some developing, fashionable and uncontrolled future. The individual produces and liberates energy through this open passage. This is a nameless individual utopia. The six artists carry out some kind of new Socialistic Realistic art with a practicing attitude through the similar history experienced by individuals. This is a new period of history. The future encounters the past again in it. We are arriving again at a point of brief Renaissance.
The game of realism is a part of the Neo-socialism Project. As the first exhibition of “Beijing Commune”, it also marks the beginning of the Neo-socialism Project at the same time.

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