Friday, January 18, 2008

Contemporary China I

Last weekend I attended a seminar on contemporary photography in China as a respondent to three writer/artists' presentations. The first made use the skyscraper as a metaphor for urban development in China. It was an interesting approach and informative. I raised the gender issue for the masculine symbol and almost only male artists featured in the presentation. The speaker somehow admitted it as a matter of fact in China's art scene and he simply couldn't come across many female artists who deal with the subject.
Yes, we all know about that in China as very few female artists have been featured in important Chinese art show. I was just curious if the speaker noticed any reason behind. The artist from Shenzhen who was also on the panel voiced out his opinion: "I don't care if the artist is a man or woman but only if it's good or bad art!" Well, I agree with it if we only look at individual artwork regardless any interest derived from gender differences. However, it's not only an artistic issue. It's about the society, without this knowledge, it will be so difficult to appreciate the arts from it. Looking at all this so called urban photography, I just wonder while many Chinese artists address the contemporary Chinese society with their art, why they could be so selectively concerned with the society. It seemed that I just raised something which was nothing important to them.
Maybe I am too naive to ask the rich why people starve as he only cares if the food is delicious or not!

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