“China8: Works in Progress” Debut Chinese Photography Exhibition for Spain

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Spain’s debut contemporary Chinese photography exhibition has just opened at Palma’s historic Casal Solleric and runs until 6 January 2016. The exhibition features 18 artists and is only the second time these original works have been shown in Europe, with the Balearics chosen as the first place in Spain to host the presentation.

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Alejandra Vanoli, Managing Director of sponsor Mallorca Sotheby’s International Realty, says, “China is constantly in the news and with Chinese visitors to Spain predicted to reach more than 1 million by 2020, links between the countries are more important than ever. Chinese investors have purchased Palma’s Valparaiso Hotel and there is little doubt that Mallorca is seen as the luxury destination in Spain. This new exhibition takes a broad overview of the present Chinese photography scene through the work of 18 artists from different generations and backgrounds.”

Alejandra continues, “We are tremendously excited to be able to help bring this fascinating insight into the current photography scene in China, which showcases some of the leading talents working in the field right now. So much of what we hear about China is centred on the economic and industrial prowess of the country as it bursts into global consciousness. What many people overlook is that artistic talent coming from China is developing at an equally impressive pace, and this exhibition aims to show just how important the contribution of just one art form can be, both right now and in the future. Casal Solleric’s exhibition space is the perfect backdrop for this showcase. Sotheby’s, with its close involvement in the art world over the past 250 years, is committed to continuing to support the arts in the Balearics and we hope that this will be the first of many such exhibitions we help bring to the islands.”

After the successful simultaneous presentation of the project “CHINA 8” in nine German museums across eight cities throughout the Ruhr Area, Casal Solleric hosts this exhibition which was inaugurated on Saturday 19 September on the occasion of the Nit de l’Art (Night of Art) 2015. More than 10,000 people visited the exhibition on this first day – including dignitaries such as Mrs Wenqiu Liu, Chinese Cultural Attaché; Mrs Francina Armengol, President of the Regional Government of the Balearics and Mr Miquel Perelló, Palma Town Councillor responsible for culture.

In the words of William A. Ewing and Holly Rousell-Perret-Gentil, curator and co-curator of “Works in Progress. Photograpy in China 2015” for the Museum Folkwang in Essen, this new exhibition shows “the explosive energy within the field of Chinese art photography”, whose main characteristics would be “a vigorous experimentation, the growth of support structures and expertise, an ever-expanding public interest, and a new crop of students eager to engage with the international scene”. What both authors consider to be a “snapshot of Chinese photography in 2015”, include both works of acknowledged artists and lesser-known artists, which “shapes a suggestive universe in which all kind of tendencies have their own place.”

The 18 artists included in the exhibition specifically designed for Casal Solleric have – in the words of Ewing and Rousell – “very different backgrounds, training and preoccupations and includes straight photographers, conceptualists, painter/photographers and multimedia artists. Some have turned inwards to wrestle with personal concerns; others confront the world with its messy complexities and contradictions. Critique and defiance of authority, the effects of rapid social change on citizen and nation, friction between town and country, sexuality and the body, existential issues, investigations of the medium itself, and embrace of new communication technologies –these are the overarching characteristics of the scene today”.

Artists

Adou | Cai Dongdong | Chen Wei | Du Yanfang | South Ho Siu Nam | Jiang Pengyi | Alfred Ko |

Li Zhengde | Liang Weizhou | Shan Feiming | Shao Wenhuan | Eason Tsang Ka Wai | Wang

Ningde | Wang Qingsong | Wang Youshen | Xiao Xiao | Zhuang Hui | Zong Ning

Dates: from 19 September 2015 until 6 January 2016.

Where: Casal Solleric, Passeig del Born, 27, 07012 Palma, Illes Balears, Spain +34 971 72 96 04

Direction: Pilar Ribal and Walter Smerling.

Curators: Walter Smerling, William E. Ewing y Denis Bury.

Coordination: Stiftung für Kunst und Kultur e.V. and Fundació Palma Espai d’Art.

Organized by Stiftung für Kunst und Kultur e.V. and Fundació Palma Espai d’Art.

Sponsored by Mallorca Sotheby’s International Realty, Son Naava and HH Kapital

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