Located in the hills of La Jolla, a seaside resort community near San Diego, California, the residence of Chris and Eloisa Haudenschild is home to a major U.S. collection of contemporary Chinese video art and photography. The Haudenschilds began collecting contemporary Chinese video and photography in the late 1990s, when these mediums were beginning to become as widely used and important as they are today, and just before the beginning of the market’s current boom.
Zooming into Focus Exhibition
( 15 articles reference Zooming into Focus Exhibition )
STATION V: BEIJING, CHINA
“Zooming into Focus is the first retrospective show of Chinese contemporary photography and video ever held at the National Art Museum, Beijing. It reveals the changes in social notions and technology in Chinese contemporary art from a different angle. The exhibition showcases the most outstanding and symbolic works from the late 1990s and 2000s which directly reflect the changing cultural and social environment and values of the Chinese people in a booming economy”. -Feng Yuan, Director of the National Art Museum, of China, Beijing
China’s National Art Museum is currently hosting what some are calling ‘its best exhibit ever.’ It’s a stronghold of landmark artworks from the breakout period of the early 90s, and this is a ‘once in Beijing’ opportunity to see them all in one place. Go at once to the art museum, but make it before the 20th of November, when the show ends and art fans sadly walk back to the distant 798-Dashanzi district. – Published in That’s Beijing
The National Art Museum of China presented the exhibition Zooming Into Focus: Contemporary Chinese Photography From the Haudenschild Collection. The exhibition highlighted the remarkable photography and videography works currently being created in China. The swift transformation of Chinese culture is reflected in the work of each of the participating artists, who comment on contemporary Chinese urban life with intelligence, wit, apprehension and nostalgia.
Noted American art collectors Eloisa and Chris Haudenschild have created one of the most important collections of contemporary Chinese art in the world. Focusing on the work of experimental artists from Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai, the collection makes groundbreaking contributions to the field of international contemporary art. The National Art Museum of China, which is China’s national museum for the visual arts, focuses on collecting, studying and exhibiting China’s modern and contemporary works of fine art based on people’s daily life.
Shi Yong, one of the participating artists has his own opinion about getting some local exposure, “I feel very lucky that we can do this exhibition in our home country today. Actually many Chinese artists care more about domestic exhibitions then overseas ones.” – Published by the Siemens Art Program for Culture Times Beijing
ExhibitionNovember 5 – 20, 2005, National Museum of China, Beijing, China
Organized by Laura Zhou and Zooming into Focus catalog and installation design at the National Museum of China, Beijing by Shi Yong.
About Laura Zhou
Laura Zhou is co-director and co-founder of ShanghART in Shanghai, China. It was initiated in 1996 and it has since grown to become one of China’s most influential contemporary art institutions. ShanghART contributes as a vital resource to the development of contemporary Chinese art. Being recognized for its importance, it became the first gallery from China participating in major international art fairs like Art Basel and Fiac, Paris. Founded by Lorenz Helbling, ShanghART represents over 40 of China most talented artists working with different media ranging from painting and sculpture to video art and performance.Today ShanghART works out of three spaces in Shanghai (Moganshan Rd and Huaihai Rd) and one space in Beijing (Cao Changdi).
About Shi Yong
Shi Yong’s work embraces modernization and the ideology of consumerism as the basis for self-imagination and creation. He has produced a series of photo-based works around the concept of the ideal Shanghai citizen. It is an ongoing multifaceted project that explores images of consumption, commodity and the development of the culture industry. One series, entitled “Made in China – Welcome to China” (1999), consists of hand-painted plaster models of a young businessman in a Mao suit, sunglasses, briefcase and waving. The image of the ideal citizen used for the statue was the outcome of an Internet project through which Shi Yong asked volunteers to vote for the ideal way of looking. The individual now transforms the identity of his or her self by following the logic of commodity market surveys. It is a composite image that Shi Yong has repeatedly used in other pieces such as “Longing For” (2000) and “You Cannot Clone It, But You Can Buy It” (2001). The iconic figure is morphed through the agency of the marketplace.
Recently, Shi Yong has focused his attention on large-scale installations and architectural models imbued with an absurd twist of humor. Most notably, his mixed media installation “Flying Q” is of a UFO built with the purpose of opening up the sky. The flying object comes with no additional explanation, but might be recognized as just another signature vision of and interventions into the imaginary world of Shi Yong. His subversive approach pokes fun at architecture based on rules and pre-established schemas. Shi Yong fabricates a colorful and ironic architectural structure that is at once a parody of serious design and its synthesis. In short, his work is an amalgam of Shanghai’s eclectic ‘anything goes’ attitude towards the built environment.
Shi Yong was born in Shanghai in 1963. He graduated from Light Industrial School, Fine Art Department. He resides and works in Shanghai. Shi Yong has exhibited widely since the early 1990’s. Recent shows include Follow Me!, Mori Art Museum (Tokyo, 2005), Second Guangzhou Triennale, Guangsong Museum of Art (2005), Zooming into Focus, China National Art Museum (Beijing, 2005), Felicidad Indecible, Tamayo Museum of Contemporary Art (Mexico, 2005), The Heaven, The World, ShanghART & H-Space (Shanghai, 2004), Shanghai Biennale (2002), Bienal de Sao Paulo (2002) and Bienal de Maia (1999). (ShanghART; Shanghai, China)
STATION IV: SINGAPORE
“As the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore is committed to showcasing significant trends, as well as the best examples of contemporary art practice, Zooming into Focus was an ideal exhibition for us to organize at the gallery. Not only does it highlight a major trend among contemporary Chinese artists towards the use of video and photography, many of the artists in the exhibition are also internationally renowned, thereby providing audiences in Singapore a rare opportunity to see their works…This exhibition, a major exhibition of contemporary Chinese photography and video, was the first of its kind for Singapore.
This is an important exhibition for highlighting and raising the level of discourse of photography and video in Singapore. Photography and video are still, as yet, relatively new mediums in art practice here. It was therefore useful for artists and the public to see how widely used these media are and also the interesting and innovative ways in which Chinese artists are using them.” -Eugene Tan, Director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore
August 11 – September 11, 2005, Institute of Contemporary Art, Earl Lu Gallery LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts, Singapore
Organized by Eugene Tan.
About Eugene Tan
Eugene Tan is an art historian, critic and curator. Born in Singapore in 1972, he received a BSc in Economics and Politics from Queen Mary College, London and a MA (Distinction) in Post-War and Contemporary Art from the Sotheby’s Institute, London. He also holds a PhD in Art History from the University of Manchester. Among exhibitions he has curated include Video Invitational at f a Projects, London in 2003, The Last Laugh: Humour and Contemporary Video Art, Painting as Process: Re-evaluating Painting and Jason Salavon: Brainstem Still Life at the Earl Lu Gallery, LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts, Singapore in 2004. He is also the curator for the Singapore Pavilion at the 51st Venice Biennale 2005 and the co-curator of the 1st Singapore Biennale 2006. He has written extensively for many exhibition catalogues as well as publications such as Art Review, Contemporary, Contemporary Visual Arts and Modern Painters. He has been a member of AICA (Association International des Critiques d’ Art) since 1999. He has also been invited to lecture and participate in panel discussions, on various aspects of contemporary art, in Singapore, Spain, Taiwan and United Kingdom. He is currently the director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, LaSalle-SIA College of the Arts.
STATION III: TIJUANA, MEXICO
“Zooming into Focus was the first contemporary Chinese photography exhibition that took place in the Centro Cultural Tijuana. The quick growth that has characterized our city is also one of the characteristics of the society in which these fourteen Chinese artists have lived.” -Teresa Vicencia Alvarez, General Director of CECUT
June 25 – August 23, 2004
Organized by Carmen Cuenca (Co-Director, inSite).
Video Dialogue: Shanghai/Tijuana
November 1, 2003
This event was moderated by Norma Iglesias and included presentations by Yang Zhenzhong and Tijuana artists Itzel Martinez (Yonkart), Giancarlo Ruiz, and Salvador Vazquez Ricalde.
About the Participants
Carmen Cuenca is a Mexican art historian currently based in San Diego. She has been involved with inSite since 1992. She was the exhibition coordinator for inSite_94 in Baja California, and the executive director of inSite_97, inSite_2000–01, and inSite_05. She has been an advisor for the curatorial committee of Centro Cultural Tijuana and executive director of the Mexican Cultural Institute in San Diego.
Norma Iglesias is Associate Professor in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at San Diego State University. She is also curatorial adviser at El Centro Cultural Tijuana. For 21 years she was researcher of the Department of Cultural Studies at El Colegio de la Frontera Norte (El COLEF-Tijuana). Her works is characterized by the mix of the academic field and the artistic one. In the academic arena, Norma Iglesias is a member of the National System of Researcher (SNI) in Mexico, (the maximum academic recognition from the Mexican Government). She has a bachelor in Social Anthropology (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico City), a master in Communication (Universidad Iberoamericana, mexico City), and a Ph.D. in Communication Theory (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) She has a wide experience working on the U.S- Mexico Border, specially on the culture, identity and media (especially cinema) from a gender perspective. She is the author of several articles in academic journals and books, such as: La Flor más bella de la maquiladora (1985), Medios de comunicación en la Frontera Norte (1990), Entre yerba, polvo y plomo. Lo fronterizo visto por el cine mexicano y (1991) Miradas de Mujer. Cineastas y videoastas mexicanas y chicanas (1998). In the artistic arena she was formed during 8 years in the Center of Creative Activities and Educational Research with José and Azul Gordillo; she studied cinema production, television and photograph in several schools and institutes among them: San Diego State University, and Escuela Internacional de Cine y Television. She was founder and coordinator (1996-1999) of the Centro Infantil de Actividades Creadoras in Tijuana. She was founder and director of the Department of Communication at El COLEF from 1984 to 1989. It has been scriptwriter of several television series about the U.S.-Mexico Border. She produced and directed various television and radio programs, such as: “… Y tan cerca de los Estados Unidos” and “Comentando al sazón: Cocinero al recetario y en el caldo el comentario”. She has been adviser of a great number of cultural productions, member of selection committees in festivals like the San Diego Latino Film Festival, as well as curator of some film and video series like inSITE 2000 (in collaboration with Rita González) and “Fronteras” in MEXartes.berlin (in collaboration with Salvador V. Ricalde).
Born in Xiaoshan in 1968, Yang Zhenzhong now lives and works in Shanghai. He graduated from the oil painting department of the China Fine Arts Academy in Hangzhou in 1993 and began working with video and photography in 1995. Yang Zhengshong’s work has showed at major biennales and triennials including Venice (2003), Shanghai (2002), Guangzhou (2002) and Gwangju (2002). Yang Zhenzhong became famous in 2000 with his ten channel video “(I Know) I Will Die” that features short sequences in which a series of people speak the phrase “I will die” to the camera. It is a disconcerting, soberly presented film that confronts the viewer with existential questions. Yang Zhenzhong recognizes that individual participation is the starting point for the transformation of perception. The video “922 Grains of Rice” plays with the interaction of the image of a cock and a chicken pecking grains of rice and the sound of a male and a female voice counting the number of pecked grains. It is a humorous representation of the battle of sexes as well a comment on today’s competitive behavior. The desire to challenge normative notions of social behavior informs the practices of Yang Zhenzhong’s work. He is pre-occupied with China’s intrinsic disharmony and extreme discrepancies and often touches upon taboos such as death and out-dated social norms. His approach is metaphorical rather than narrative. His videos often start from witty ideas, employing image repetition and rhythmic coordination of sound, language and image. “Let’s Puff” (4th Shanghai Biennale, Zone of Urgency, 50th Venice Biennial) similarly starts from the interplay of two images: a young woman puffing and a busy street. Every time the woman breathes, the image of the street moves away from the viewer. The rhythm of the traffic and the angle of perception are altered with the rhythm of the woman’s breath. Yang Zhenzhong’s playful videos are more than visual reflections; they are intelligent comments on the design of contemporary society. In a series of photos entitled “Light and Easy,” he perceives the weight of urban changes as an exterior phenomenon, and literally depicts the process as a weightless factor, turning urban landmarks upside down. “Light and Easy” is based upon a conviction that the lightness of the isolated exterior or interior is a source of interesting material. The successful experiments the artists have executed to formulate connections are exciting, sincere and disturbing. (ShanghART; Shanghai, China)
January 31, 2004
San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego
An International Discourse on New Chinese Video and Photography
STATION II: SHANGHAI, CHINA
“This exhibition explains the importance of re-acknowledging and re-evaluating this hot spot of contemporary art. From the very beginning, contemporary Chinese photography has been closely related to the daily lives of Chinese people. The quickly growing and changing social environment has focused on the created objects of the artists. From these vivid and graphical works, we can witness the exciting poles of this age, experience the active interaction between art and society, and understand the new and unique exploration of these pioneers. Shanghai has always been the essential window to contemporary Western cultural patterns.
From oil painting to photography, from industrial design to video art, Shanghai plays a critical role during this process of communication and incorporation. Therefore, the opening of Zooming into Focus, a preliminary review of Chinese contemporary photography and video, is not only an occasion of chance but a necessary consequence of history. The importance of the exhibition is in no doubt: it showed some truth of Chinese contemporary art to the public and to the cultural circle, and it prodded the Chinese art museum circle to start collecting contemporary video and photography works.” -Li Xu, Curator, Shanghai Art Museum
“Different from traditional art, such as painting and sculpture, photography includes video, together with film and animation. Focusing on photography, this exhibition introduces the history of recent contemporary Chinese art….Furthermore, this collection can be regarded as an objective review on the current situation of Chinese photography. The Shanghai Art Museum is dedicated to the promotion and development of contemporary Chinese art. This exhibition is the first time contemporary photography and Chinese artists are introduced to the public.” -Li Xiangyang, Executive Director, Shanghai Art Museum
February 18 – March 30, 2004, Shanghai Art Museum
Organized by Li Xu, Laura Zhou, and Eloisa Haudenschild.
Roof Top Performance by Song Tao
February 18, 2004, Shanghai Art Museum
Following the opening of the exhibition Song Tao with other contemporary Chinese artists, presented a multimedia sound and video performance on the roof of the Shanghai Art Museum.
Envisioning the Future of Contemporary Art From Different Glocal Positions
March 25 & 26, 2004 – China Art Academy, Hangzhou
Organized by Zhang Peili (Artist and Director of New Media dept., China Art Academy, Hangzhou), Laura Zhou (Former Director of ShanghART, Shanghai, China) and Eloisa Haudenschild. All participants toured Zooming into Focus at the Shanghai Art Museum and were then transported via bus to Hangzhou.
Moderated by Hou Hanru (Former Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs, SFAI and Independent Curator) and Pi Li (Independent Curator and Founder, Boers-Li Gallery) with works shown by Bill Voila (courtesy of Britta Erickson; presented by Eloisa Haudenschild), Wang Gongxin, Qiu Zhijie, Zhang Peili, and Yang Fudong.
- Pi Li (Independent Curator and Founder, Boers-Li Gallery, Beijing) Chinese Contemporary Video Art
- Fan Di’an (Director, National Art Museum of China) Meeting and Traffic
- Hans Ulrich Obrist (Curator, Paris) The Museum of the Future – Art, Architecture, Science and Technology
- Mami Kataoka (Senior Curator, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo & International Associate Curator, Hayward Gallery, London) New Media as New Experience
- Li Xu (Curator, China) The Relationships Between New Media Art and Museum Systems in China
- Huang Du (Ph.D., China) New Events and Culture Space
- Zhang Zhiyang (Professor, China) Where is the Space for Art in the Era of Technological Globalization?
- Rudolf Stoert (Curator, Germany) Switch Media Project in Thailand
- Gridthiya Gaweewong (Curator, Thailand) Regional Strategies and Global Impacts: A Southeast Asian Perspective
- Hu Fang (Writer, China) Pseudo-Machine of Writing
- Evelyn Jouanno (Curator, France) Under the Earth, There is the Sky
- Martina Koppel-Yang (Art Critic, Germany) The Pingpang Policy of Chinese Contemporary Art
- Zheng Shengtian (Curator & Managing Editor, Yishu Journal, Canada) Non-Local and Non-Mainstream
- Karen Smith (Art Historian, UK) The Future: In Whose Hands?
- Waling Boers (Curator and Founding Director of Buro Friedrich-Berlin and Boers-Li Gallery) Art Between the State and the Market, A Challenge?