The Melbourne-based Australia China Art Foundation (ACAF) has announced that it will open its new ACAF Art Terminal T1 Creative Space, situated in the North Sydney suburb of St. Leonards, with an exhibition showcasing a group of China’s leading young media artists, all born between 1980 and 1987.
Entitled “Degeneration,” the exhibition is curated by the artistic director of the OCT Contemporary Art Terminal Shanghai, Mariagrazia Costantino, and features a number of artists exhibiting in the southern hemisphere for the first time. Participating artists include Chen Wei, Chen Zhou, Cheng Ran, Guan Xiao, Hu Yun, Li Ming, Li Ran, Lu Yang, Ma Qiusha, and Ye Linghan.
Produced in collaboration with the Beijing Bridging Hope Foundation and the OCT Contemporary Art Terminal Shanghai, “DEGENERATION” is the response of ten young Chinese artists to the rapidly changing and evolving society in which they live – a society of globalized capitalism, standardization, materialism, and commercialism.
Working across a wide variety of mediums, the artists in “DEGENERATION” demonstrate a persistent questioning of the senses, investigate the ways in which we experience and form knowledge in the era of the fast-everything, and explore how we shape our idea of the world through history and memory.
Although the artists featured in the exhibition are of a particular generation, they do not identify themselves as such, instead choosing to free themselves from the confines of the current Chinese art world by incorporating themselves into a wider system that Costantino describes as not only transcultural, but also “transgenerational.”
“The artists participating in DEGENERATION are perhaps the first, within the system of contemporary Chinese art, to be part of a genuinely transcultural circuit of art production and exhibition,” says Costantino.
“Conveying a sense of disillusion, almost hopelessness, their works hint at and harshly criticize globalized capitalism, marked by the commodification of ideas and the progressive homogenization of tastes and needs”
According to Yashian Schauble, founder and director Australia China Art Foundation, “Many will find this exhibition or works of individual or combined video, photography, painting and sculpture challenging. It does, however, provide an insight into young Chinese artists’ views of the modern acquisitive, highly materialistic, commercial, increasingly globalised and standardized world that is their lot. It offers not only critical assessment but ideas of ways forward.”
ACAF’s new Art Terminal T1 Creative Space is not just an exhibition space, it is also a space for workshops and a meeting area for the community, artists, and collectors. According to ACAF, Art Terminal T1 offers the opportunity for artists and groups to make proposals for the use of the space and the development of cooperative projects with the Chinese community in Australia and the arts community in China.
The not-for-profit Australia China Art Foundation (ACAF) was established in 2012 to promote cross-cultural understanding, generate a vital network of creative exchange and build a reciprocal awareness of cultures and values between Australia and China. The organization was founded by in Melbourne by Yashian Schauble, a Shanghai born, Melbourne educated Australian-Chinese business woman who divides her time between China and Australia.
The ACAF Sydney Art Terminal T1 Inaugural Exhibition, “Degeneration,” Opens February 22. For more information visit the ACAF website here.