'Osmosis Symbosis' leaves food for thought

An exhibition exploring the localization of Chinese contemporary art wrapped up this week at Shanghai Oil Painting and Sculpture Academy.
Ti Gong

“Blue Stones" by Chinese artist Yang Jianping

An exhibition exploring the localization of Chinese contemporary art wrapped up this week at Shanghai Oil Painting and Sculpture Academy. Entitled “Osmosis Symbosis,” the exhibition showcased artworks by 21 established and promising Chinese artists, with a variety of mixed material creations, installations, calligraphy and oil painting works.

Just as the title of the exhibition implied, “osmosis” and “symbosis” describes the status-quo of Chinese contemporary art creation, and also insinuates the future trend, according to curator Jiang Mei. 

Since embracing Western art in the mid-1980s, Chinese artists have been long plagued by the identity issues, whether to look at the outside world from the perspective of being Chinese, or examine the domestic society from an international view. After years of experimenting and exploration, a blending of two might be a way out. 

Ti Gong

"Personal Object Series" by artist Qiu Jia

Some of the highlights included pop art collage works by Xue Song, featuring iconic images in Chinese traditional paintings; “Personal Object Series” by Qiu Jia, who made the installations with recycled wood tables so as to give a second life to the discarded materials; a set of 2.5-meter-high installations made with paper pulp by Shi Hui; silver salt photos by leading artist duo Birdhead; and ink animation film by Qiu Anxiong, which is inspired by classic Chinese mythology “Classic of Mountains and Seas.”

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