It is said that great art can only thrive in great turmoil, and China with its growing pains and political cramps, definitely has this in spades.
I went to an interesting lecture on Chinese contemporary art at the Gibsone Jessop Gallery last night in the Distillery District. Jessop, who’s a great speaker, weaved a tale of historical and artistic intrigue as he talked about his recent travels in mainland China.
It appears that, as an artist in a land of billions of people, there is an intense urge for self-expression. And unlike Western modern art, China’s works are irreverent, self-deprecating, and most of all, full of what Jessop called “psychological danger”.
Apparently all the buying demand is from Westerners. All throughout Beijing and Shanghai are painters and sculptors sitting in empty, deserted galleries. Sadly, the Chinese seem to be disinterested in their own art. (The government’s hands are off as well, just as long as you don’t desecrate Chairman Mao or show sexual activity.)
Afterwards, we got a hands-on examination of another kind of contemporary art: a pulled pork pizza at the Mill St. Brewery!