Art Nova 100 of­fers young artists show­case for their tal­ents

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFE - By LIN QI

Ever since it was launched in 2011, Art Nova 100, a Bei­jing­based in­sti­tu­tion which pro­motes young artists, mostly aged 35 and be­low, has helped more than 200 artists find gal­leries and more than 150 hold their first solo ex­hi­bi­tions.

For Zhao Li, a pro­fes­sor at the Cen­tral Acad­emy of Fine Arts, who founded the plat­form, in­tro­duc­ing these new­com­ers to gal­leries and art cu­ra­tors is only a part of Art Nova 100’s com­mit­ment. He also hopes to make them more widely known, by show­ing their works at spa­ces that re­ceive a lot of vis­i­tors.

That is why the in­sti­tu­tion started its Art Nova 100 Open­ing Ex­hi­bi­tion at a tem­po­rari- ly-built hall in Di­tan Park in the heart of the cap­i­tal city six years ago.

The an­nual ex­hi­bi­tion shows some 100 artists se­lected from sev­eral hun­dred ap­pli­cants across the coun­try. It also tours other ci­ties in­clud­ing Nan­jing, Chongqing and Hong Kong.

This year’s ex­hi­bi­tion is now on at the To­day Art Mu­seum, show­ing paint­ings, sculp­tures, in­stal­la­tions, videos and new­me­dia art­works.

“Usu­ally young artists’ pro­duc­tions are not as se­ri­ous as that of es­tab­lished ones,” says Zhao. “And a pop­u­lar pub­lic mu­seum like To­day Art links view­ers to con­tem­po­rary art and its cre­ators.”

The on­go­ing ex­hi­bi­tion, ti­tled Re­build & Tran­si­tion, shows two cat­e­gories of works. If you go One ex­hibits artists who were fea­tured in pre­vi­ous shows and who have achieved some note, such as oil painter Ju Ting, sculp­tor Wang En­lai and new-me­dia artist Tian Xiaolei.

Zhao says the cur­rent ex­hi­bi­tion show­cases how they are “re­struc­tur­ing” their vis­ual vo­cab­u­lar­ies fol­low­ing ini­tial suc­cess.

The other sec­tion shows up-and-com­ing artists who, Zhao says, are in the mid­dle of a “tran­si­tion”.

Some artists give tours of their works on show dur­ing the exhi- bi­tion, which en­ables them to ben­e­fit from viewer feed­back.

In ad­di­tion to mount­ing the ex­hi­bi­tions, Art Nova 100 also or­ga­nizes a res­i­dency project.

Its first at­tempt was a 40-day res­i­dency in Li­jiang, Yun­nan prov­ince, ear­lier this year where many artists par­tic­i­pated in and learned the Dongba text, an an­cient pic­to­rial lan­guage of the Naxi eth­nic group.

Zhao says the next res­i­dency will be in Or­dos, in the In­ner Mon­go­lia au­ton­o­mous re­gion, where hand-weav­ing and dy­ing tech­niques could in­spire young artists.

He says Art Nova 100 also plans a res­i­dency in Lishui, Zhe­jiang prov­ince, where artists can draw in­spi­ra­tion from the ru­ral land­scape.

Speak­ing about the artists, he says: “Un­like their pre­de­ces­sors, the new gen­er­a­tions boast a broader vi­sion — many study and live abroad for years — and they are more ex­press- ive and con­fi­dent. Still, they need to turn to their cul­tural roots, where they will find some­thing en­light­en­ing, some­thing they have over­looked for a long time.”

Joachim Pis­sarro, a mem­ber of the se­lec­tion com­mit­tee who teaches art his­tory at Hunter Col­lege of the City Univer­sity of New York, says he has dis­cov­ered many ac­com­plished artists of the present gen­er­a­tion, although their names are not well known yet.

He says these artists will pro­mote art world­wide, and adds: “Once we all be­gin to see what’s com­ing out of China, we will un­der­stand that the art scene in China is ... far more com­plex, in­ter­est­ing and ex­cit­ing than the per­cep­tion we have in the West.”

10 am-6 pm, closed on Mon­day, through Aug 15. 32 Baizi­wan Road, Chaoyang dis­trict, Bei­jing. 010-58760600.


Art Nova 100’ s on­go­ing ex­hi­bi­tion looks to find an au­di­ence for young artists and their works.

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