The 10 Best Chinese Artworks of 2013

On 07/01/2014 by Site Default

2013 has been a huge year for Chinese contemporary art. In addition to China’s established galleries and museums, the arrival of Art Basel in Hong Kong, the ART021 art fair in Shanghai, the new Hugo Boss Asia Art Prize, and the openings of several museums provided excellent new forums for artists.

Despite having far many outrageous, challenging, and aesthetically arresting works to choose from, BLOUIN ARTINFO China nevertheless picks out the 10 works that made the biggest impression on us in 2013.

10. Liao Guohe, “The Truth of Painting Blowing Gently”

We said: “[Liao] uses acrylic scrawled over un-mounted industrial canvas to satirize Chinese society, reflecting his characteristic sense of humor. The exhibition name “Bananas, Eggplants, Meat Patties” ramps up the absurdity, as does Liao’s CV, which states that he was born in Calcutta, India.”

9. Wang Yuyang’s  “Determine”

We said: “Wang Yuyang’s staggering sculpture “Determine,” a passage from a romantic text converted, he passed through an algorithm that generated a 3D form is [one of Art Basel Hong Kong’s] most visually grabbing pieces.”

8. Maleonn’s “Studio Mobile” Project

We said: “‘Studio Mobile’ commemorates a bygone era. It restores photography’s status as event with people coming together not to document something else, but for the sole purpose of creating an image.”

7. Chen Tianzhuo’s “Acid Club”

We said: “Chen Tianzhuo’s exhibition at Star Gallery turns the venue into a crazy night club. Free drinks, dazzling lights, a live DJ, a mosaic dance floor, and some of his trademark day-glo pop Buddhism sculptures all feature.”

6. Yu Ji’s “Flesh in Stone No. 2”

We said: “Solemn but beautiful, Yu Ji’s concrete and steel torsos are construction site Michaelangelos for modern China.”

5. MadeIn Company’s “Play — (201301)”

We said: “The gothic cathedral rendered in a black leather fetish exterior and ample metal hardware is an exciting evolution of works they made last year, including a camping tent church, an ‘African’ tribeswomen bound by Nobuyashi Araki-esque ropes, and large foam rubber deities in bondage gear.”

4. Li Liao, “Consumption”

We said: “Li’s work dovetails nicely with one of the biggest China news stories last year. His installation ‘Consumption’ is an iPad Mini that displays video of Li’s experience working in a Foxconn factory where the devices are manufactured. He worked at the factory for 45 days, the time it took him to buy the tablet with his wages.”

3. Lu Yang’s “Uterus-Man”

We said: “One of the most exuberant and technically skilled new media artist in China, Lu Yang has marked out new territory making ‘Sci-Fine Art’. Takashi Murakami can only envy the pelvic bone scorpion ridden by manga hero (and feminist quip) Uterus Man.”

2. Kwan Sheung Chi’s “Water Barrier (Maotai-water, 1:999)”

We said: Kwan is the most overtly political of the nominated artists, making him a surprising, brave choice for the [Hugo Boss Asia Art Prize]. His works on show at RAM include subversive how-to videos, demonstrating how to cook pepper spray and how to make a suicide exit bag.

1. Ai Weiwei’s “S.A.C.R.E.D.” 

We said: “There’s another way Ai might have arranged the letters for his exhibition title ‘S.A.C.R.E.D.’. But while being scared might have motivated the work, transforming that fear into art has yielded something that will remain sacred long after it’s removed from the church of Sant’Antonin.”

Click on the slideshow to see the top 10 works of 2013.

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