Bentu

Chinese artists in a time of turbulence and transformation
27 January – 2 May 2016

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© Hu Xiangqian, The Woman in Front of the Camera, 2015. Courtesy of this artist and Long March Space.

This exhibition presented a limited selection of twelve very di•erent artists, twelve strong individualities. 

They share not only the ability to live and work in what is a particularly fast-moving world of “turbulence and transformation,” but also a tendency to use multiple means of expression, combining tools supplied by local traditions with the latest sophisticated technologies.Responding with striking swi–ness, their work mirrors the new realities of today’s China, as manifested in the economy, the environment, cities and international relations, showing a strong awareness of the changing relations between town and country a–er the great rural exodus.

The term chosen for the exhibition title, bentu, meaning native soil, is at the heart of their concerns and of the ideas being explored by contemporary Chinese critics and researchers (see the text by the two curators in the catalogue). In this specific context, bentu evokes the way in which artists have discovered and found their place in countries around the world, the better to return to their “homeland” with a strengthened sense of self.

The video by Hu XiangqianœžŸ introducing the exhibition is resonant: graceful and carefree, a woman dances alone in a park, supremely unperturbed by the indi•erence of the crowd as she affirmsherself as an individual.

Most of the artists in this show belong to the thirty-something generation. The age diˆerences (from 28 to 51) are in themselves significant in a country remarkable for the fascinatingly fast rotation of generations and their successive tendencies. The bulk of the works shown in the special hanging of the Fondation Collection are by artists from the earlier generation.

That said, there are four artists: Cao Fei, Yang Fudong, Tao Hui, Xu Zhen - who appear in both shows, even if the works in question are open highly diverse. 

 

Presented artists :

Cao Fei, Yang Fudong, Hao Liang, Hu Xiangqian, Liu Chuang, Liu Shiyuan, Liu Wei, Liu Xiadong, Qiu Zhijie, Tao Hui, Xu Qu, Xu Zhen.

Catalogue of exhibition

This exhibition has gathered twelve artists from different generation living in continental China has offer an overview of techniques and tools inspired by local cultures and traditions as well as the lastest technologies. By mixing or opposing those worlds, the artists unveil the complexity of living in an ever-changing society. Their works were a testimony of the deeply rooted economic, ecological and social mutations of Chinese society.

LEARN MORE ABOUT CATALOGUE

The journal #3

Issue #3 of the Fondation Louis Vuitton journal presenting exhibition Bentu, a selection of Chinese artworks from the Collection and the calendar of events from January to May 2016.

LEARN MORE ABOUT ISSUE #3

Exhibition views

  • Liu Wei, Liberation No 16, 2014. View of installation at the Fondation Louis Vuitton

    © Liu Wei. Photo Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc Domage

  • Xu Qu, Currency Wars,  2015. View of installation at the Fondation Louis Vuitton

    © Xu Qu. Photo Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc Domage

  • Liu Shiyuan, From Happiness to Whatever,  2015. View of installation at the Fondation Louis Vuitton

    © Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc Domage

  • Qiu Zhijie, Map of the Third World, 2015

    © Qiu Zhijie - Courtesy of the artist

  • © Xu Zhen, Physique of Consciousness, 2011, video, View of installation at the Fondation Louis Vuitton

    © Xu Zhen and MadeIn Company. Photo Fondation Louis Vuitton / Martin Argyroglo

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Bentu

Short film of presentation of the exhibition

Interview of Philip Tinari, curator of exhibition

Learn more about contemporary Chinese art

Interview of Cao fei

Discover his training, his artistic approach

Interview of Liu Wei

To know more about his works: "Untitled" and "Liberation No 16"

Interview of Xu Qu

His life in China and influences in his work

Visit of the Xu Zhen showroom in Shanghai

Discover the work of the artist in his workshop