Spin: The First Decade of the New Century



From September 1st to 28th, 2012, presented by the Today Art Museum in association with the Institute for the Advancement of 21st Century Art, the Spin: the First Decade of the New Century exhibition, organized by renowned curator Zhang Qing, will be on display at the Second Floor Exhibition Hall of Today Art Museum’s Building One. The exhibition brings together new works of the past ten years of six artists whose rise coincide with that of the new century- Chen Ke, Jia Aili, Ouyang Chun, Qiu Xiaofei, Wang Guangle and Wei Jia, and will include both classic works from their illustrious careers as well as a broad display of their newest pieces.

About ‘Spin’:

Over the past decade of the new century, Chinese contemporary art has been growing consecutively, as artists born after the 1970s have experienced their peak years of creativity. Zhang Qing, the exhibition’s curator has selected six artists who depict the development of contemporary art over the past decade through their own personal histories and artistic growth.

As introduced by curator Zhang Qing, “the distinguishing characteristics of the artists born in this decade are as diverse and varied as the radical changes that took place during it. Their works are historical reflections, social critiques, the conceptual wanderings and cultural hesitations of an era’s or an individual’s transformations; or, they are the secrets of an artist’s own personal growth, taken to form the light, soft visual aesthetic of a new generation. Of course, the cultural trends and tendencies shared among these different possibilities are not rigid and invariable, but rather free-flowing and mutually permeable. This exhibition brings together a group of artists born in the 1970’s whose works display an individualized sensitivity and realism within the cultural framework of an era, as they express their unique world views from the heart. They are a particular and unique historical convergence: bodies spinning on their own axes at a point where the age of consumption comes into fierce collision with ideology. Their works, now featured together, form an explicit manifesto of the progress and development of art in the first decade of the new century, and reveal their outward, spinning blossoming into the artists they have become today and to provide both a blueprint for and a cross-section of history. ”

The term ‘spin’ is derived from physics. In quantum mechanics ‘spin’ is used to describe the inherent nature of all particles to produce a magnetic field. It is sometimes compared with classical mechanics in it’s form of rotation, but is essentially different. Spin consists of particles, including protons, neutrons, electrons to make up essential components of the universe in it’s entirety. Young contemporary artists exist within their own platform to represent their hidden similarities between their works and the relationship amongst the artists to the first decade of the new century, where art experienced an evolution spinning bloomed.

Entering the second decade of the new century, the artists works are already in the center of the art world. There thoughts, feelings and artistic language are radically different to artists’ expressions from the 1950’s and 60’s. In comparison to narratives and ideological ridicule expressed towards artists in the 1950’s and 60’s, today’s young artists have their own perceptions and have reached levels of self-awareness expressed through an expanded range of social genres. They represent a unique segment within their generation- a more focused and magnified group of individuals. Nevertheless, to this day no one in either academic or private spheres have been able to closely observe and document the artists’ standpoint. This exhibition seeks to put their work on display as a milestone to place their names in history.