Since the second half of the last century, the great wealth of the West and many of its most recognized brands began the journey to the Orient attracted by new markets and low industrial production costs. But in recent years, the opposite phenomenon seems to be norm: The Orient and its vast culture have conquered—and in many cases “reconquered” – Western sensibilities. The fact is that the art market is increasingly valuing and appreciating Asian art. A vivid example of this circumstance is the resounding success of Art Basel Hong Kong and the excellent reception the work of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has received in the West.
This time, two great exponents of contemporary art— Brazil and China—join forces to present in São Paulo the exhibition ChinaArteBrasil, which will be on view until May 18.
For the first time, the South American giant will host a collection of more than 110 works by 62 contemporary Chinese artists. Alongside the work of Weiwei, the catalog includes pieces by renowned authors such as Cao Fei, Chen Qiulin, Cui Xiuwen, Feng Zhengjie, He Sen, Huang Yan as well as artworks by Jin Jiangbo, Li Dafang, Li Wei, Liujin, Lu Song, Luo Brothers, Miao Xiaochun and Ma Liuming among others.
Jointly curated by art historians Ma Lin and Tereza de Arruda, ChinaArteBrasil is presented as a bridge to increase the cultural dialogue between both countries. It features paintings, sculpture, photography, installations, videos, performance and traditional Chinese textiles. The display highlights the presence of monumental works, such as paintings by Wang Shun-kit; large-scale installations by Ai Weiwei, Wang Qingsong, Yuan Gong and Rong Rong & inri and interactive projections, like the one presented by the artist Jin Jiangbo.
The exhibit was organized by Brazil’s Ministry of Culture of Brazil and HSBC Bank. It was designed with a particular historicist sense and the intention of showing different stages of Chinese art, from the dynastic periods to the present. Many of the works are unpublished; some were produced specifically for this occasion and others were created in situ at the Ibirapuera Park in São Paulo, where they will be displayed until the end of May. ■