Culture ∙ Mind ∙ Becoming. Chinese art at the 55th Venice Biennale.

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Culture ∙ Mind ∙ Becomingis a collateral event of the 55th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia. Presenting the work of 39 outstanding Chinese contemporary artists, the exhibition is divided into three sections:

The event is organised by the Global Art Center Foundation (GAC), with headquarters in The Netherlands and a permanent exhibition space at Palazzo Bembo, Venice, in collaboration with co-organisers Asia Art Center, Beautiful Asset, Art of Two Centuries.

The exhibition aims to juxtapose the cultural impact, appropriation, reflection, and reinvention existing in Chinese culture through the lens of globalisation. In the early 20th century, eastern artists had been exposed and influenced by western perceptions of and practices in art. During the mid-20th century, Western Postmodernism began to penetrate the East, and as a result of its collision with local thought and culture, new inspiring ideas were born. There was a boom in new media works and diverse artistic expression, led by a desire for individual representation and the expression of individual and personal experience and emotion.

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In a time when artists generally turn inwards, reflecting upon individual empiricism as the main concept behind their artistic practice, artists from the East have started returning to their cultural origins, employing traditional cultural heritage as their main channel to express their artistic voices. Through experimentation with various media and methodologies, these artists bring forward a common ground of unique creative context grounded in their common social and cultural history. Boundaries between culture and language are challenged, while cultural memories are revisited. The viewer is led into a world where he is prompted to wonder about contemporary Eastern culture.

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The re-invention, re-manipulation, re-elaboration of cultural experience is the common thread that links all these artists working in various media, who at different times in their career have all been influenced and inspired by Western art forms and ideas, but who all have chosen to turn back towards their own cultural backgrounds to revisit it in a contemporary key.

Follow the links to the three sections of the exhibition above, to discover more about each single section, highlights from some of the participating artists and their works on display.

You can download a combined catalogue of “Personal Structures” and “Culture Mind Becoming” HERE.

All Photographs: “Culture ∙ Mind ∙ Becoming”, collateral event of the 55th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia. Photos: Prof Danilo Ardia.

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