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   - Artists’ group exhibition premiere at Xinqiao Art Hub

Text by Qiao Wei

Translated by Wendy Fang

Sir Ernst Hans Josef Gombrich, a famous British art historian once wisely claimed, “There really is no such thing as Art. There are only artists.” Quoted from the art historian’s seminal work of criticism, Story of Art (1950), Gombrich refers to ‘art’ based on its Latin root, meaning ‘skill’, and therefore claims that there is ‘no disembodied skill’

For many centuries since the modernization of China, Shanghai has become the nation’s economic and cultural center for international trade and predictor of modern fashion. As for the realm of art, Shanghai witnessed the upsurge of art museum constructions, where many exhibitions heavily gravitated towards contemporary art subjects. The ‘Art Fair craze’ focuses on the swift collection of artworks and promotion of art markets. However, where are the Shanghai artists who are the central to the art community in China?

When referring to the artist communities in Beijing, one will naturally think of ‘Hei Qiao’, ‘Cao Chang Di’, ‘Song Zhuang’ and so on. Comparatively speaking, many Shanghai artist groups have been decentralized for a long time and work independently from one another. In this case, Xinqiao Art Hub aims to act as the place of gathering for artists, facilitating the interaction and communication.

Now, if the art community mentions the gathering place of Shanghai artists, Xinqiao Art Hub will undoubtedly be considered the forefront of artistic strength. So far, there are almost fifty studios situated in the hub, although it has only just begun to take shape, it has become one of Shanghai’s most centralized places for artists. 

‘Group Dynamics’ was inspired by the influential 4th century Chinese philosopher, Zhuang Zi, whose writings, Qi Wu Lun (Uniformity Theory), states that the “fu chui wan bu tong, er shi qi zi ji ye ”, which means different objects create various sounds while being blown by the wind due to their different natures. All the artists in the creative hub are outstanding and are full of potential, so this exhibition uses Zhaung Zi’s philosophy to reflect the diversity of the creative subject. This exhibition presents the work of these artists for the first time in its entirety and includes a variety of mediums including, painting, installation, video and live performance, etc.

The exhibiting artists uphold a collective belief that this exhibition will pave the way for a deeper understanding of the artist’s world and allow visitors to empathize with the new vigor and infinite creativity possessed by the artists.