History in Making: Shanghai 1979-2009
Artists Interviews and Work archive
Author: Biljana Ciric
Publishing by Shanghai People’s Fine Arts Publishing House.
Publishing project supported by Ke Center for the Contemporary Arts
Special thanks to
Himalayas Art Museum and Shanghart gallery
SIMBA LEE, Shen Qibin, Lorenz Helbling, Bridge 8, Mian Mian.
We are proud to present the first in series of three books mapping the contemporary art practices of Shanghai from 1979-2009.
The first publication is titled: History in Making: Shanghai 1979-2009, and includes artist interviews and an archive of works that was compiled over the course of preparation for the exhibition, and through discussion with the participating artists. The book contains interviews conducted with artists during 2008 and 2009, and presents the different stages of contemporary art production in Shanghai, and China at large, through the individual stories and recollections of artists.
All interviews were conducted by Biljana Ciric, and these include: “BeiHeMeng” Photography Group, Birdhead, Chen Yanyin, Ding Yi, Gong Jianqing, Gu Lei, He Yang, Hu Jianping, Hu Jieming, Huang Kui, Jin Feng (the younger), Jin Feng + Su Chang, Jin Shan, Li Mu, Li Pinghu, Li Shan, Liang Yue, Liu Jianhua, Lu Chunsheng, M Group, Mian Mian, Ni Jun,Ni Weihua, Qian Weikang, Qiu Anxiong, Qiu Deshu, Shen Fan, Shi Yong, Song Haidong, Song Tao, Sun Liang, Tang Guangming, Tang Maohong, Xiang Liqing, Xu Zhen, Yang Fudong, Yang Hui, Yang Xu, Yang Zhenzhong, Yu Youhan, Zhangding, Zhang Enli, Zhang Jianjun, Zhang Pingjie, Zhang Xin, Zhou Xiaohu, Zhou Zixi, and Cenaculo. The book also includes texts contributed by Gu Zhen, Wu Liang, and Zhao Chuan.
The idea to do the interviews came about with regard to the need for a kind of key for the understanding of the various artistic practices present through these years, and their ongoing contributions to the local art scene. At the same time, these interviews became very important tools for the understanding not only of individual artistic practices, but also in the way that they, together, point towards the larger social background of this time period as well, bringing to light an intimacy that has not necessarily entered the public discourse as of yet.
For the first time, several generations of artists from Shanghai (including those from different age groups and different artistic approaches), bringing them together in the form of a book. In this way, the book is also an accumulation of the city’s cultural growth and alludes to its current status as viewed through the perspectives and attitudes of nearly 50 artists and cultural practitioners who have contributed to the cultural development of Shanghai over the last 30 years.
“History in the Making provided invaluable insights into contemporary art as it evolved in Shanghai. The in-depth look of how multiple generations developed (and in some cases unfortunately abandoned) their art practices meant new discoveries for everyone. The straightforward chronological presentation (a brilliant culling of complex information) offered a much needed framework for new scholarly interpretations. The exhibition sets a high standard for future research”, Barbara London, Associate Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art, MoMA.
“...The urgency of the world should be matched by an urgency to remember. Like the information we consume, our memory should be equally dynamic. Nothing is ever identical, nothing ever repeats itself, everything is constantly changing. With the world in constant flux, it would seem Israel Rosenfield was right; “we must be prepared for unpredictable circumstances”. Such dynamism is embodied in Biljana Ciric’s exhibition History in the Making: Shanghai 1979-2009 exhibition is a wonderful contribution to the protest against forgetting. More than simply a survey of contemporary art, this exhibition brought together different generations of artists from Shanghai, illustrating Erwin Panofsky’s idea that future is built on fragments of the past.” By Hans Ulrich Obrist.
The aim of publishing this project is to archive and present in the most comprehensive way the contemporary art history of the Shanghai-based artist community from 1979 to the present, and it’s related material.
The modernization of China and the pace of the country’s transformation has added to its development of a very short term memory, so that many things become a part of the past very quickly and get lost in the minds of individuals. This is what is happening in many fields, including contemporary art.
These three books will realize an archive that consists of very objective facts, thereby revealing the path that the artistic community of Shanghai has gone through, while also pointing towards the future.
Most of the material used in the book was collected through the interviews with the different artists and through the archival material that they provided for the project.
Publications still to come: History in Making: Shanghai 1979-2009
-History of Exhibition-Making -Artists’ Collections: Poetry and Writings
·周大为@上海华氏画廊 Shanghai Hwas’ Gallery 2008年09月08日
·沈其斌@上海证大现代艺术馆 Shanghai zendai museum of Modern Art 2007年09月23日
·周禹汶@香格纳画廊 ShanghaiART 2007年09月23日
·李一鸣@上海熏衣社文化艺术有限公司 Shanghai Shun Art@Design Co.,Ltd 2007年09月22日
·王小帅、皮力讲座：自我时光的雕刻：从《冬春的日子》到《青红》Carving My Time – from The Days to Shanghai Dreams 2005年08月12日