Danwen Xing Exhibition: A Personal Diary. The Chinese Avant-Garde 1993–2003
"A Personal Diary" is a photographic story of the artistic avant-garde in China in the 1990s. The exhibition features more than 140 photographs photographs documenting the life of Chinese avant-gardists not only in the field of visual arts, but also in film, experimental theater and the new music scene.
Danwen Xing’s work is a portrait of the milieu of artists born in the mid-1960s, a generation defined by the experience of the bloody crackdown on student protesters in Tiananmen Square in June 1989. It is a generation that grew up witnessing the country’s political and economic transformation – born during the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976), the artists began their studies at the time of the political and economic "thaw", the so-called open-door policy introduced by Deng Xiaoping and China’s opening to the world and free markets.
The earliest photographs from the cycle originate from the first half of the 1990s and largely concentrate on artists gathered around the Beijing East Village artists’ commune. Danwen captured also key figures in underground film and theatre, such as filmmakers of the so-called Fifth and Sixth Generation including Zhang Yuan, Wu Wenguang, Cheng Kaige, Zhang Yimou, Jia Zhangke, Yang Chao and Mou Sen, the theater director active also as a documentary filmmaker. A separate chapter in "A Personal Diary" is devoted to new music, mainly Chinese rock and its main representatives, such as Cui Jian, He Yong and Cobra, the first Chinese all-female band.
EVENTS CONNECTED WITH THE EXHIBITION:
16 XI THU 5 PM
A guided tour of the exhibition for festival audiences with the curator, Magda Lipska
16 XI THU 6 PM
As screening of films by one of the most important independent documentary filmmakers in China
Diary: Snow, Nov 21th, 1998, dir. Wu Wengwuang, China 1998, 14’
Bumming in Beijing: The Last Dreamers, dir. Wu Wengwuang, China 1990, 68’
18 XI SAT 4 PM
A guided tour of the exhibition with the curator, Magda Lipska
22 XI WED 6 PM
"China/Avant-Garde," a landmark exhibition of contemporary Chinese art – presentation of visual materials from the archives of Chinese independent art from 1980s and 1990s by a Museum of Modern Art curator, Magda Lipska.