Artists Remake the World
The Author

The Author : Shiyan Li


Shiyan Li is a Doctor in Artistic Sciences, member of the Asia & Pacific network (Paris) and member of the ‘Langages Artistiques Asie-Occident’ (Paris) inter-university research team. Her work relates to our perception of Far Eastern culture in contemporary western art, on the birth of Chinese contemporary art after the Cultural Revolution and the lexicographical study of Chinese art critic vocabulary in the 20th and 21st centuries, together with the translation difficulties it represents.

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Investigation by Shiyan Li
11 April 2018

Performance art for the people

Investigation by Shiyan Li

Since the late 1980s, Chinese artists have been developing body-based art centered on suffering and self-abuse, close to certain Western performances in principle, yet quite different in their intentions. The difference lies in Chinese culture – from Confucian to Taoist thought – and to the Chinese tradition of learned civilians – the intellectual as the safeguard of ethics, but also to recent changes in society. In this context, the artist’s body is a social body that reflects the paradoxes of the country’s recent political evolution and the steadily increasing tensions between communist and ultra-liberal economic dogma. However, this art also draws on the Cultural Revolution, a somber era of the country’s history during which thousands of intellectuals were condemned to humiliation and whose fifty-year anniversary China is not taking great care to commemorate.

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