Society Guidance: Part I - UCCA
18 May - 18 August 2019
2019.5.18 - 2019.8.18
Open Gallery, New Gallery, Central Gallery
From May 18 to August 18, 2019, UCCA Center for Contemporary Art presents the group exhibition “Society Guidance,” featuring work by Chen Shaoxiong (1962-2016, Guangdong province), Ren Jian (b. 1955, Liaoning province) and New History Group, and Wang Jin (b. 1962, Shanxi province)in relation to their practice in the 1990s. “Society Guidance” focuses on the creative trajectory of Chinese artists at the outset of the 1990s, making work against the backdrop of the sweeping social transformation that occurred as economic reforms initiated in 1978 deepened and gathered speed. The exhibition provides an opportunity to revisit the early 1990s, an era which, though well studied in terms of individual artists and their work, is still processed in art historical narratives more as a period of transition than a distinct epoch. Taking place over two installments (the second on display from August 31 to November 24, 2019), the research-driven project takes a multi-disciplinary approach, presenting artworks alongside a reading room of archival materials. “Society Guidance” sketches out the circuitous route that led from the elite, intellectual culture of the 1980s to the collapse of values and search for meaning after the onset of consumerism in the 1990s, along with the strategies that artists adopted in response, whether retreating from the social sphere or diving headlong into emerging consumer culture. The exhibition is curated by UCCA Head of Exhibitions Bian Ka, who has previously engaged with related themes through his own practice as a critic and curator of independent projects.