Meishu NO.2


Writing/Bao Dong

“美术” (meishu, fine art) has been considered as the most archetypal and most comprehensiveconcept throughout the history of art since the 20th century. Originating fromthe French term “beaux arts” used in the 17th century, “fine art” is thecorrespondence in English and “美術” in Japanese. Since theNew Culture Movement and the May Fourth Movement, the term in Chinese has beenwidely applied to refer to art in all forms including painting, sculpture,calligraphy, craftsmanship, architecture, and various types of the visual arts.Furthermore, its denotation covers photography, theatre, film, and othercategories related to art. From “beaux arts”, “fine art” to “美術” and “美术”, the term has continuously expanded andtransferred its denotations throughout. “Fine art” as a term thus underpinnedthe process of modernity of Chinese art in all aspects.


Comparing with the more acclaimed terms “art”and “contemporary art” of today, “fine art” seems to be old-fashioned andoutdated. The term, however, still provides us with a deep background and solidfoundation to understand the diversified phenomena in the circles ofcontemporary Chinese art. This is precisely why we named the occasional seriesof exhibitions “fine art”.


“Meishu NO.2” examines the interaction andinterplay among pure art, applied art, and folk art, bringing togethercalligraphy, typography, engraving, objects, painting and other forms of art.Within the tradition of Chinese fine art, the above-mentioned forms have not beenstrictly categorized and classified, accordingly, each type has influenced oneanother. In effect, such a status of coexistence and symbiosis is by all meansa natural phenomenon in everyday life in any era. The division of disciplinesbased on the modernity may be simply occurring by chance.


The exhibition features work by Wang Sanqing,Jin Shi, and Li Yiwen, which are closely related to the artistic tradition ofChinese writing. Wang Sanqing integrated calligraphy, ink wash painting,decoration and framing and other traditional artistic languages into a newvisual composition, initiating a genre of collage and pop art within anexclusive context of Chinese tradition. Jin Shi has engaged in an argument onthe difference between “rudeness and refinement” in calligraphy by transformingthe inscriptions on bamboos left by the tourists on the street in the touristattractions into tea caddy spoons and rubbings. Li Yiwen turned the vulgarpornographic images collected from the web into an elegant form throughengraving.


Designer Zhu Sha’s type design is alsoassociated with the art of writing, in which he established a new, unrestrainedstyle by incorporating Jin Nong’s calligraphic style into the modern-day printedSong typeface. Shen Liang’s works are mainly the graffiti he sketched on thecovers of the old books, which rejuvenated the book design of the times eventhough they are not necessarily relevant to the covers. Luan Xueyan’s paintingsoffer a glimpse of today’s everyday life of Chinese people. With thephotographic composition and the picture-in-picture structure, the artistexquisitely dealt with the relationship among objects, decoration, and theenvironment.

Meishu NO.2

Curator:Bao Dong

Artists (Order by strokes):Wang Sanqing,Shen Liang,Li Yiwen,Zhu Sha,Jin Shi, Luan Xueyan

Opening:2019.7.27 (Sat)  4:00 pm


Press release (pdf)

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