Installation view, CHINA URBAN: Exploring the Historical and Contemporary Chinese City, 2009. Photo by Dan Kvitka.

CHINA URBAN: Exploring the Historical and Contemporary Chinese City

Image Gallery

April 7 - June 7, 2009

An exhibition of contemporary Chinese art exploring the historical and contemporary Chinese city—as representation, model, catalyst, and socio-political construct.

Thursday, April 9 from 6:00—9:00 pm, Public Reception at the Cooley
Commencing with a public writing of the calligraphy of Tsang Tsou Choi, "The King of Kowloon" (1921—2007) on the walls of the Cooley, by Portland Calligrapher Dr. Yang Jiyu.

Thursday, April 16 at 6:30 pm, Lecture by Xie Xioaze in Psychology 105

On view Tuesday, April 7—Sunday, June 7 at the Cooley
The exhibition is open every week, Wednesday through Sunday, from 12:00—6:00 pm. Free and open to the public.

The artists in China Urban are each uniquely notable for the manner in which their work explores the conflicts, tensions and symbolic shifts underlying the creation of a “new” China, one dependent upon the initial and irrevocable reconfiguration—and often destruction—of China’s architectural and cultural traditions. Using a wide range of media, the artists in China Urban address the constant flux and transient nature of the new Chinese city, examining the city as a complex of both real and imaginary spaces. China’s socioeconomic upheaval has sacrificed and displaced histories, traditions, and localities in favor of the creation of an economic superpower. As the artists featured in China Urban demonstrate, the reality of urbanization is every bit as psychological and internal as it is physical and environmental.

China Urban features work by: multimedia artist SONG DONG , Beijing; filmmaker and multimedia artist YANG FUDONG, Shanghai; painter andfilmmaker CHEN SHAOXIONG, Guangzhou; painter LI YAN , Beijing; multimedia artist CAO FEI, Beijing; urban calligrapher TSANG TSOU CHOI (the KING OF KOWLOON, 1921-2007); multimedia artist YIN XIUZHEN, Beijing; painter and installation artist CHEN QIULIN, Chengdu; painter YUN-FEI JI, Brooklyn; and multimedia artists XIE XIAOZE, Pennsylvania and CHEN ZHONG, Beijing.

China Urban is curated and produced by the China Urban Collective, a collaborative organ initiated by Reed College Associate Professor of Art and Humanities Lisa Claypool and Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery Director Stephanie Snyder with the students of Claypool’s "Art in Contemporary China" course (currently underway at Reed College), and curatorial research assistant Molly Dilworth (NYC). China Urban originated several years ago, in a series of conversations between Claypool and Snyder, initiated by Claypool and shaped by her extensive travels in China. Claypool and Snyder then broadened the curatorial project into the context of the Reed College classroom, and the China Urban Collective was born. The students of the "Art in Contemporary China" course are engaged with all aspects of the exhibition.

SONG DONG and YIN XIUZHEN courtesy of the artists and Chambers Fine Art, New York; YANG FUDONG, courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York and Paris; CHEN SHAOXIONG, courtesy of the artist and Wedel Fine Art, London, England; LI YAN, XIE XIAOZE and CHEN ZHONG courtesy of the artists and Morono Kiang Gallery, Los Angeles and Platform China, Beijing; CHEN QIULIN courtesy of the artist and Max Protetch Gallery, New York; and YUN-FEI JI, courtesy of the artist, James Cohan Gallery, New York, and a private collection.