On Monday several education department staff members leave on an excursion to accompany 15 Walker Art Center tour guides for 10 days exploring the art scene in Beijing and Shanghai. Why China? Some of the motivation for our trip emerged in the wake of the Walker exhibition House of Oracles: A Huang Yong Ping Retrospective, a show that examined the body of work of one of the most active and thought provoking contemporary Chinese artists working today, Huang Yong Ping. Huang Yong Ping was part of the Xiamen Dada movement, a conceptual movement that adopted the philosopies of the early 20th century movement of the same name, led in a large part by Marcel Duchamp.
Another exhibition influential on our travel plans is from a few years back, How Latitudes Become Forms: Art in a Global Age. The “Latitudes” show examined the new globalism in contemporary art, and featured artists from around the world, including several from China, such as Song Dong and Yin Xiuzhen.
As with technology, building, and everything else, the visual art scene in China has exploded in the past several years. What will we discover in China? It remains to be scene, but surely our plans to visit both contemporary galleries and artists’ studios, as well as more traditional museums and sights will provide us with a new insight into not only the work of contemporary Chinese artists, but artists from across the globe.