News Releases -- 4696/1998: Contemporary Art From China

July 1, 1998

4696/1998: Contemporary Art From China

Vancouver, B.C. – Art Beatus is pleased to host 4696/1998: Contemporary Art from China. This exhibition is curated by Yvonne Force & Carmen Zita of Yvonne Force Inc., New York based curatorial consultants that focus on site specific projects with emerging artists.

4696/1998: contemporary art from China represents works by 5 artists, (Yue Min Jun, Liu Wei, Luo Brothers, Wei Dong, Gu Wenda, Yang Jie Chang) whose works express the conflicting social identities of contemporary artists in China and abroad. The title 4696/1998 juxtaposes the date on the Chinese calendar- 4696 with the western version. Debuted at Lehmann Maupin Gallery in Soho on March 21, New York Times’ art critic Holland Cotter reviewed 4696/1998 as "in touch with the past, internationally flavored,…and part of an unpredictable future in the process of being written".

Contemporary Chinese Art has seen much internal social, cultural and political change in the past decade, compounded by a clash between western consumerism and traditional values. Mao’s model of art for the mass isbeing dismantled by new art form critical of an increasingly capitalistic society. This social critique contrasts sharply with the works of Chinese dissident artists in the west whose works are following the traditions of Chinese art.

Yue Min Jun’s large scale paintings of laughing characters are cynical reflections of a reality removed from the people. His paintings can be read as a conscious rejection for a developed society dislocated from its cultural origin. Liu Wei’s grotesque depiction of fleshy pigs and human subjects express a lack of spiritual centre in a degenerative state. Luo Brothers’s "Welcome to the World’s Famous Brand Series" are highly charged collages of babies, hamburgers and coke cans to protest the omnipresence of Western Brand name product in China. Wei Dong’s carefully rendered landscape ink paintings with suggestive figures allude to the contradiction of western and traditional social values in China. Gu Wenda’s Metamorphosis are installations deeply influenced by historical iconography, using human hair to detail Chinese, English, Hindi and Arabic languages. Yang Jie Chang uses thousands layers of ink to develop a series of black paintings, critical of cross cultural ideological assumptions.

Art Beatus, with galleries in Vancouver, Canada and Hong Kong, focuses on international contemporary Chinese art. The Vancouver gallery is on the upper plaza at 888 Nelson Street.

For further information, please contact:

Canada: tel: (1) 604.688.2633, fax: (1) 604.688.2685