The focus of cutting edge art in China today has shifted from sculpture and painting to performance, photographic and video art. Many forward-thinking artists now use the human body as their canvas and in the process, are creating conceptual art expressed through photography and video.

This compelling exhibit features a wide variety of intriguing work. Some pieces, with the aid of digital imaging, illustrate a world that only exists within the artist’s imagination. Other pieces, based on actual performance work where the artists use their bodies as the central artistic agent, explore realities of China’s complex contemporary society. Some of the photos are humorous, others are disconcerting, but all provide fascinating insights into life in China today.

Performance Art In China

As early as 1986 a few pioneer artists began using their bodies to comment on China’s current social and political issue, producing the first performance-based works. During the early 1990’s on the eastern fringes of Beijing the East Village art community had been established, and it became a major gathering area for the these new experimental artists. Many were looking for an innovative medium, believing that painting and sculpture lacked the immediacy needed to express their more personal views. Performance art seemed ideal, and it is through this medium that many artists began to execute their artistic concepts.

Conceptual Photography in China

Photography was introduced into China in the late 19th century. At that time the medium was used primarily to take portraits documenting the ruling Qing dynasty government officials and members of the Imperial family. After 1980, when cameras and film were affordable and photography had become more widespread, that actual art photos began to appear. In spite of its increasing popularity throughout the 1980’s into the early 1990’s, photography was still not considered an art form in Chinese art circles. Some of the first examples of conceptual or idea- based photos, documenting underground performance art, appeared in the mid 1990’s. At the end of the 1990’s some photo artists were also working with digitally enhanced computer images, and by 2004 conceptual photography had evolved into a well-established art form.


* 40 color photos and one video

* All I.D. Label copy on a CD

* All Interpretive Panel copy on a CD

* Sample Press Kit for publicity on a CD


* Facilities Report: Each participating institution is required to complete a Facilities Report outlining their current security system.

* Moderate Security: Limited access gallery, security supervised at all times, and/or glass/plexiglass covering art works required.

* Gallery Space: Approximately 1000-1500 square feet.

* Shipping & Insurance: Participating organization pays round trip shipping and wall-to-wall insurance.

* Availability: Three month booking period includes transportation and installation time.

* Rental Fee: $8,000.00

For more information, please contact the Asian Art Coordinating Council at
Tel: 303-329-6417