Pékin Fine Arts, No.241 Cao Chang Di Village, Cui Ge Zhuang, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China
22 Oct, 2011 – 8 Jan, 2012
Blue is the dominant colour of Zhang Dali’s new series of photograms and cyanotypes, framing the shadowed forms cast upon them. These large-scale photographic impressions on cloth present figures, bicycles and pagodas in their unexposed, white areas, in negative; the surroundings are left in the rich cyan blue, verging on indigo. These “material objects” (as Zhang refers to them) leave their marks as absence and adjust our received impressions of them, reversing the shadow’s fleeting aspect to permanently fix and memorialise them.
The traces left behind by image-making processes and their subsequent re-presentation or removal has been a recurring subject matter for Zhang. From his early graffiti works that traced the profile of his head onto buildings (particularly those in the process of demolition); to the Second History series of counterposed photographs documenting the changes wrought on images by history through which ideology is reflected. In each case the trace of an object and the meaning of that trace is susceptible to erasure and interpretation, becoming a new reality that further impinges on the world we ourselves inhabit.
If anyone has a copy of this report, I would be very interested in taking a look (I might even cook you dinner). It would be fascinating to know what their criteria are for measuring “sentiment.” The report appears to look at a good range of artists1, so each one’s comparative results would be interesting to see. I’ve been hearing (mainly from auction results, so that’s pretty selective) that established names are recovering quickly, but the market for younger, less established artists is struggling (as one would expect). Most people I’ve talked to about this subject see these periodic downturns as, by and large, a “good” thing. I’m not denying the pain involved, but it’s a time in which everyone is forced to re-focus on their core strengths and if these aren’t sustainable then, perhaps, it’s time to move on.
The confidence in the Chinese Contemporary art market has strengthened significantly since February 2009, and is now back above the 50 level. The ArtTactic Confidence Indicator has increased from 16 in February 2009, to 57 in November 2009. The current level signals that there is more positive than negative sentiment in the art market. This is the first contemporary art market that ArtTactic has surveyed since the downturn, in which the Confidence Indicator has come in above the 50 level, which implies that the Chinese art market could be one of the quickest to recover.2
Ai Weiwei, Cai Guoqiang, Cao Fei, Chen Wenbo, Fang Lijun, Feng Mengbo, Feng Zhengjie, Gu Dexin, Gu Wenda, He Duoling, He Yunchang, Hong Hao, Li Shan, Li Songsong, Liang Shaoji, Lin Tianmiao, Ling Jian, Liu Wei (B. 1972), Liu Xiaodong, Liu Ye, Lv Shenzhong, Mao Yan, Nie Mu, Qiu Zhijie, Shi Jinsong, Song Dong, Sui Jianguo, Tan Ping, Wang Gongxin, Wang Guangyi, Wang Jianwei, Wang Qingsong, Wang Wei, Wang Xingwei, Wu Shanzhuan, Xu Bing, Xu Zhen, Yang Fudong, Yang Shaobin, Yin Xiuzhen, Yu Hong, Yue Minjun, Zeng Fanzhi, Zhan Wang, Zhang Dali, Zhang Huan, Zhang Peili, Zhang Xiaogang, Zhong Biao, Zhou Tiehai, Zhou Xiaohu.