Today Art Museum is the first private, non-profit international
contemporary art museum in China. It has long been dedicated to the
exhibition, promotion and research of Chinese contemporary art and the
establishment of linkage with international contemporary art.
2012 is the 10th anniversary of Today Art Museum. From October 14 to
November 27, Today Art Museum will hold the large scale research
exhibition "Thing-in-Itself": Utopia, Pop and Personal Theology,
supervised by Zhang Zikang and curated by Huang Zhuan.
of the "thing-in-itself" is a core concept in Kantian philosophy, as well
as a central theme in the history of modern thought. Thing-in-itself is the
source and foundation of phenomena and sensory material, but are also
unknowable things that lie beyond human cognition, imbued with a priori
spatiotemporal form and universal, absolute metaphysical properties.
Dialectically, it is a category that is distinguished from the
"thing-for-us," and in contemporary art history, this category has
manifested as a series of multiple and paradoxical relationships between
things and words, materials and ideas, reason and belief.
Guangyi has been one of the most representative artists in Chinese
modernist art history since the 1980s. His artistic path embodies the
complex paradoxical logic of Chinese contemporary art's progression from
its era of enlightenment to avant-gardism, postmodernism and consumerism,
but for a long time, critique and research of him has been misconstrued and
limited by cold war critical discourse and the commercial capitalist
interpretation that is "political pop." There is a need for an individual
case study that takes the history of Chinese thought and visual culture
Politics, Art and Theology: the Wang Guangyi
Art Research Project will use the theme of "thing-in-itself" to engage
in in-depth academic research of the historical dialectic properties of the
rationality and faith, secular and transcendental, political and
mythological contents of Wang Guangyi's art, and will use this
research-oriented presentation of a typical case study in Chinese
contemporary art history to apply combined art history and intellectual
history methods to holistically clarify the internal logic, image methods
and situational influences taking place within this period of history. The
academic goal of this pursuit is to provide a Chinese-language critical
case study for the global theoretical interpretation system of contemporary
The exhibition will comprise four components. The
retrospective component will consist of three segments: "Cultural Utopia
– the Logic of Creation," "From Analysis to Pop –
Correction and Requisition" and "Materialist Theology: Matter and Form,"
presenting a temporal trajectory that spans thirty years of Wang Guangyi's
most representative works from the 1980s to the present. The exhibition
will also present a large number of previously unreleased documents, videos
and photographs. The fourth component will feature the large scale
installation work Things-in-Themselves, which the artist is creating
for this exhibition.
On October 14, the most famous museum
directors, curators and researchers all around the world will be invited to
participate in the academic exchange in Beijing. In addition, in order to
stimulate the academic interaction between Chinese and foreign contemporary
art, an international symposium Ways of Constructing the History of
Contemporary Art hosted by the famous art historian Wu Hong, will be
held at the museum. During the exhibition, Wang Guangyi's View of Art
lecture will be held at the Central Academy of Fine Arts.
long-term strategic partner of Today Art Museum, Mercedes-Benz hopes to
present more outstanding contemporary art works to the public via the
cooperation with the Chinese avant-garde art landmark and push forward the
development of Chinese contemporary art by supporting more artists with
dreams and talents.
Meanwhile, Martell, also the strategic
partner of the Museum, provides a lot of help to this exhibition. Upon its
completion, the exhibition will tour Europe, America and Asia.