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Young art as a sign of the times

FROM tomorrow, 20 cutting-edge artists will present the "Scattered Times" contemporary art exhibition at Shanghai Times Square. Xu Wei frames the questions.

China's new generation of artists have demonstrated their dynamic force and breakthrough thinking in recent years. Their art reflects their interest, creativity and their contemporary experience of daily life.

From tomorrow to June 29, 20 cutting-edge Chinese artists will present the "Scattered Times" contemporary art exhibition at Shanghai Times Square on Huaihai Road M.

The exhibition features nearly 70 creative works, including painting, photography, video, flash animation, installation and live performance art.

In an installation and performance art work, pedestrians walk confidently and uncaringly on white sand spread across a red brick-paved area. They leave their footprints in the previously untarnished sand. After they leave, a "guardian" rakes the sand smooth again silently and stoically, not reflecting joy or sadness in the trampling of the sand.

This work, entitled "The White," is placed near the entrance to the shopping mall.

Its designer, Yang Xinguang, an artist from Beijing, brings subtle thoughts and hints to his audience, stirring a moral sense from the bottom of the heart by using vivid visual contrasts and shadowy actions.

Cheng Shaohua, the designer of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games logo, is exhibiting his dynamic ink-wash paintings entitled "Origin."

They show beautiful scenes where the ink slowly shifts and shapes, forming different pictures which are vivid, humorous, pretty and imaginative. His works also give voice to unique Chinese attitudes by using techniques and approaches familiar to all Chinese.

"Water, a kind of material of the soul, is also the form of everything that is dominated by God with wisdom and magic," Chen says. "Ink is the means that makes all present in our eyes so that we can have a chance to see that the God is working hard. I always respect water deeply although it is the most familiar material to us."

Young film talent Lu Chunsheng has made some fresh artistic quests and questions about daily life by persistently using his unique visual angles, and fragments of beautiful pictures and poetry-like script.

Surrealism is perfectly integrated with a neutral attitude in his videos, giving an audience plenty of space to use their own imagination.

Bu Hua is known as the "flash queen" and received a lot of acclaim at the 7th Shanghai Biennale in 2008. She is a representative in the field of contemporary Chinese animation. Her new work "Anxiety" reflects the status of the public in the current financial crisis.

In this animated film, the protagonist and her friends hold pipes and try to erase their panic, confusion and anxiety by blowing on their pipes unconsciously. Even the hurried pace of the background music coincides with a modern person's accelerated heartbeat in a fast-paced society.

Many of these artists who are active in the Chinese contemporary art scene will donate some of their works to the Shanghai Science Popularization Foundation to express their concern and support for China's science education and public welfare undertakings.

According to Cathy Hau, deputy general manager of Shanghai Times Square, the event's organizer, there are countless types of rules for art and artists to break in the world. But the essence of art is freedom without oppression or boundaries.

Everything can become a work of art, and details in life can be an endless inspiration if you are able to discover them.

"We can see the full transmission of spirit of limitless art from this exhibition," Hau says. "We hope our efforts can not only shorten the distance between art and the public but also bring the public and consumers more emotional communication and interaction."

Date: July 10-29, 10am-10pm

Venue: Shanghai Times Square, 99 Huaihai Rd M.

Admission: Free

Tel: 6391-0691


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