The thing about origins, is that we have to keep going back to them to make them them. Ala:
15 May 2013 – 1 September 2013
This exhibit is strikingly similar to the Blooming in the Shadows event held at the China Institute in September 2011, itself a reprisal of a similar event held in Beijing the previous year. Granted, a common denominator of these has been the poet-artist Yan Li, and curators Shen Kuiyi and Julia Andrews have been involved. That said, a definite nostalgic trend can be observed of late with respect to contemporary Chinese art. Less engaged with the ways of the future, most seem inclined to the where did we come from and how did we get here type of questions. Even, I would say, Zhang Xiaotiao’s “Sakya,” reported on by the New York Times in typically unnostalgic terms, is a turning back to Chinese cultural roots, or at least the branch of those roots which springs forth from Tibet. These gestures are more than jabs in present give-and-take between authoritarian governmental forces and individual artists; they are old wine in new bottles–and everyone knows wine gets better with age.
Venice Biennale, 2013