China Avant-garde

The title of this blog is itself worthy of discussion.  As Wu Hung, noted scholar of Chinese art classical and modern/contemporary, observed over a decade ago, the term “avant-garde” is not ideal for discussing contemporary Chinese artistic matters.  Wu opts instead for the term “experimental,” a relatively de-politicized but nonetheless elastic enough term that effectively names a great deal of what transpires on the rapidly and often radically shifting artistic landscape in contemporary China (Wu, 2000: 11).  Still, its seems to me that the elasticity of the term “avant-garde” (French to begin with, so never quite “accurately” applied in English) should accommodate discussion of artistic phenomena, even if that discussion finds itself mired (delightfully!) in nomenclature itself. And discussion of contemporary art, by whatever name we call it, is the purpose of this blog.  I welcome posts, one and all.


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