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Beijing Voice: Together or Isolated, Contemporary Chinese Art at Pace Gallery in Beijing
Installation view at Pace Gallery in Beijing.

BEIJING.- Last year Pace Beijing launched an annual project titled Beijing Voice. Beijing Voice: Together or Isolated discusses some phenomena and questions existing in Chinese contemporary art in the form of a group exhibition. Beijing Voice: Together or Isolated is on view at Pace Beijing until February 28th, 2011. Participating artists include: Hu Xiaoyuan, Huang Ran, Liang Yuanwei, Qiu Xiaofei, Shi Jinsong, Song Dong, Su Wenxiang, Wang Guangle, Wang Jin, and Yuan Yuan.

In this exhibition, an explicit curated theme is intentionally eliminated. Works are juxtaposed and presented in a particular manner that aims to highlight the works and enables the audience to reflect on the art specifically without being too concerned with the exhibition’s theme. Contemporary art is part of a highly interrelated and complex environment. Rather than existing independently, the artists’ creations have to be related to many other factors. Therefore, leaving the artists’ identity and the overall artistic environment aside, whether artworks can be self-sufficient has become a question. This exhibition addresses how an artwork can be defined as “together” or “isolated.”

Looking back on this past year, the 51 m2 Project, which was initiated by Taikang Space in 2009, represents a new phenomenon and trend in Chinese contemporary art. Here, the importance of curating has been devalued and the emphasis has been placed on the independence of the artist and the artwork. However, whether this exhibition style will benefit young artists’ development and audience’s comprehension needs to be discussed. In this regard, Together or Isolated is not expected to provide a final answer, but to raise the question itself with an open attitude.

Beijing Voice aims to review and reflect on the art phenomena of the past year. China’s speeding development has turned it into an “impatient nation” that can hardly slow down. People’s lives are continuously compressed. During the process, stress and anxiety are inevitably produced. This increasingly overwhelming anxiety not only troubles individuals, but also confuses various institutions and organizations. Commercial galleries are transforming and beginning to curate academic exhibitions. This is because, as suggested by the curator Leng Lin, “Galleries are also getting lost in the rapidly changing society, evolving from profit-driven institutions into a kind of animal greedy for culture.”

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