Now Then - China's avant-garde twenty years later with Liu Ye, Hong Hao, Qiu Anxiong, Ding Yi, He Duoling, Lin Tianmiao, Chen Shaoxiong, Zhuang Hui, Wang Xingwei, Zhou Chunya en Zhong Biao
In November 2015 Nieuw Dakota will exhibit the work of 12 Chinese artists. These artists reflect with recent and historical work on the developments in the art world in China from the 90’s until the present. The contrast between then and now is significant – these artists belonged to a small Avant-Garde movement in Chinese art in the 90’s and are now, 20 years later, regarded as the international top, NOW THEN does not only provide insight into the developments of the Chinese art world, it is also a project that marks Canvas Contemporary’s 20th anniversary. The 12 artists that are presented at Nieuw Dakota have worked with Canvas Contemporary since the 90’s and with this exhibition they, alongside Canvas founder and director Martijn Kielstra, look back upon 20 years of experiences in Chinese art.
‘I visited China for the first time in 1995. I remember how I walked through the artist villages, small enclaves where artists worked and exhibited in their sheltered ateliers. It was a time when there were almost no galleries – just a handful, founded and operated by foreigners. There was barely an art market to speak of.’
The Chinese art world developed scantily between the late 80’s to mid 90’s and boomed in the new millennium. Galleries sprout up everywhere and interest for this Chinese art emerged from around the globe. In 2006 the first international auction of Chinese art took place at Sotheby’s in New York, which lead to an explosion of the Chinese art market. Both attention and prices raised locally and internationally for the Chinese art, with mark-ups setting the standard.
In recent years the Chinese art market has matured – the number of museums is increasing; Chinese galleries are no longer inferior to Western galleries; Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing have become international art centres.
For the exhibition NOW THEN Canvas invited 12 artists whom Kielstra has worked with since the 90’s, showing both recent and older works of these now renowned artists. With the exhibition there will also be a publication. In this book the artists and Kielstra reflect upon the changed Chinese art world and
the developments in their work, and tell personal anecdotes.