The market for contemporary Chinese art is one of the fastest-growing internationally, attracting buyers from all over the world, including, increasingly, from within China itself. There are thriving artistic communities in major cities throughout China, most notably Beijing's world famous 798 Art Zone. Meanwhile, the arrest and secret detention in 2011 of artist Ai Weiwei focused attention on China's politics and issues of state control. This book sheds light on the development of Chinese art since Deng Xiaoping's policy of 'Opening and Reform' was confirmed in 1978, putting the art into context within China and internationally. Paul Gladston provides a critical mapping of ideas and practices that have shaped contemporary Chinese art, showing how they bind the art - as a consequence of artistic complicity and/or resistance - to structures of power and state not just within but also outside China. While the principal focus is on art produced by artists from mainland China, the book also discusses contemporary art made by artists from Taiwan and Hong Kong-Macau, as well others belonging to diasporic Chinese communities.
Unravelling the complexities of politics, artistic practice and Chinese culture, Contemporary Chinese Art is an essential companion for readers interested in contemporary art or Chinese culture, history or politics.
Paul Gladston is Associate Professor of Culture, Film and Media and Director of the Centre for Contemporary East-Asian Cultural Studies at the University of Nottingham, UK. He is editor of the Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art.