Bentu : Chinese Artists in a Time of Turbulence and Transformation

written by Suzanne Pagé

Yale University Press | ISBN 9780300222388

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$60.00

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Through a detailed look at twelve contemporary Chinese artists, this fascinating book offers a fresh assessment of the creative forces at work in a country whose economic, political, and cultural climates are of widespread and enduring interest. Viewed together, the featured artists, Cao Fei, Hao Liang, Hu Xiangqian, Liu Chang, Liu Shiyuan, Liu Wei, Liu Xiaodong, Qiu Zhijie, Tao Hui, Xu Qu, Xu Zhen, and Yang Fudong, reveal the complexities of their society. Their works, using a wide variety of techniques and media and drawn from local tradition and culture, highlight the current state of economy and ecology in China, as well as the transformation of the relationship between the city and the countryside. The word bentu means “the native soil,” but in reference to contemporary Chinese art, the term has come to signify the concept of a reconciliation between the “local” and the “global,” yielding a rediscovery of identity; this notion has become a central preoccupation among artists, curators, and academics in China today.

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