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Sophie Colin
À savoir | 1er mars
The Louis Vuitton foundation goes Chinese. With the exposition “Bentu” displaying a number of Chinese artists of its collection the foundation emphasizes the diversity of techniques and materials of this arts scene. In a social context that is constantly mutating.
The Belgian gallery owner and arts collector Adrian David has been supporting dissident Chinese artists such as GAO Brothers or Thang Dali for more than fifteen years. He has accepted to be our guide. We have asked him to choose his top five among the artists represented in the exposition and to explain his choice.
'Tree' - Ai Weiwei © Fondation Louis Vuitton, Marc Domage
"Tree" - Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei

“In 2009 Ai Weiwei started his series “Tree” that consists of trees made from dead wood coming from the mountainside in Southern China. For the Chinese the tree symbolizes the link between the sky and the underworld. Ai Weiwei’s trees symbolize the hope of a reincarnation where different ethnic identities give a new form of unity to modern China. In 1979, three years after Mao’s death, Ai Weiwei has founded the artistic movement “The Stars” with Ma Desheng and Wang Keping. They have never been able to show their work in public because it has been destroyed. In the eighties the members of the “Stars” were persecuted, killed or they had to escape. This is why Ai Weiwei has lived in New York for several years.“

'Untitled' - Liu Wei  © Fondation Louis Vuitton, Marc Domage
"Untitled" - Liu Wei

Liu Wei

“The development of modern China revolves around the rise of urbanisation, material culture, architecture, fashion, technology and biology. Liu Wei creates cities out of newspaper and thus refers to social and cultural institutions. Her abstract and geometrical concepts depict the urbanisation of the post-Mao era and question its rapid evolution.”

'My ideal' - Zhang Xiaogang © Zhang Xiaogang, 2015 - Courtesy de l'artiste et Pace gallery
"My ideal" - Zhang Xiaogang

Xiaogang Zhang

“Xiaogang Zhang is known all over the world for his paintings of family photos from the Cultural Revolution. His dissenting work has started between 1994 and 2004. The “Bloodline” series are full of political meaning and put forward conformism as a psychological and social phenomenon. On every portrait, a patch of a different colour points to a piece of individuality in opposition to the mask of perfect but forced monotony.”

'Sudden Awakening' - Zhang Huan © Zhang Huan Studio, 2015 - Courtesy de l'artiste et Pace Gallery
"Sudden Awakening" - Zhang Huan

Zhang Huan

“Zhang Huan crafts sculptures from the ashes of the sacrifices which have been burnt in Buddhist temples in Shanghai. According to an ancient Chinese tradition the dust of the dead evokes the hope of rebirth, of reincarnation. In the two sculptural parts of the head, incense is burning and the two giant earlobes without jewellery symbolize an ancient wealth. Buddha is distancing himself from his wealthy past and he presents the incense, in a simple manner, as an offering. The image stands for the hope and the desire of a people, a liberating ambition for the purity of the soul.”
 
'Map' - Qiu Zhije © Yan Pei-Ming, ADAGP, paris 2016 - Photo Fondation Louis Vuitton
"Map" - Qiu Zhije

Qiu Zhijie

“An artist has to reassert the link between art and life as a single unit. It’s about enriching and about cultivating oneself. Since 2011 Qiu Zhijie has been working on his “Maps”. The creation of maps is his resistance to the world’s madness. Everyone of us holds his own map and has to recreate it permanently. It’s our proactive way of giving a meaning rather than passively accepting the signification provided by others. His maps made from ink are no ordinary geographical maps. He gives mountains names derived from philosophical or artistic terms which are linked to the cultural history of the occident and the Far East.”
 Chinese artists at the Louis Vuitton Foundation

Bentu Exposition, Chinese artists in the turmoil of mutations

January 27– May 2, 2016

The Collection, a selection of Chinese art works

January 27 – August 29, 2016

Multidisciplinary events: Music, cinema, performances, poetry

Jaunary 27 – August 29, 2016

Crédits photo : Zhang Xiaogang, 2015 - Courtesy de l'artiste et Pace gallery, Zhang Huan Studio, 2015 - Courtesy de l'artiste et Pace Gallery, Yan Pei-Ming, ADAGP, paris 2016 - Photo Fondation Louis Vuitton, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Marc Domage
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