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  • Sep 04, 2017

The 1st Anren Biennale Announces List of Participating Artists

The inaugural edition of the Anren Biennale recently released its ambitious roster featuring more than 120 participating artists from over 20 countries. Scheduled to take place from October 28 to February 28, 2018, in the historical town of Anren in Chengdu, China, the presentation is being overseen by the prominent art historian and critic Lu Peng, who has divvied up the gargantuan spectacle into four thematic exhibitions. Brought together under the umbrella concept of “Today’s Yesterday,” each segment will deliberate on the ways histories are contested, reflected and revisited in today’s art, cultural criticism and politics, and will be headed individually by Chinese and international curators who will drive the respective curatorial visions.

Working at the cultural crossroads between East and West, the artistic director of the FM Centre for Contemporary Art, Marco Scotini, will curate an interdisciplinary segment “The Szechwan Tale: Theater and History” which investigates the boundaries between fictional theater and real history. The show will use the imagined background of Szechwan (or Sichuan) as portrayed by the German playwright Bertolt Brecht in his play The Good Person of Szechwan (1940) as a departure point. It will also reexamine Rent Collection Courtyard (1964)—a powerful life-sized socialist realist sculpture originally based in Anren, which stood as a testament to the Cultural revolution, and was once hailed as an “artistic atom bomb” when replicas appeared in different Chinese cities as well as overseas—to raise questions on the legitimacy and continuance of art and its connection to the past, present and future.

“Crossroads,” curated by curator and artist Liu Ding and notable art critic Carol Yinghua Lu, will showcase a diverse array of works by international artists such as Paul Chan, Martin Polák, Lin Yilin and The Phantom Modern, to name a few, aiming to get to the heart of the “irresolvable dilemma” that exists between past and future—a threshold space that neither provides stability nor comfort.

Likewise, curators Liu Jie and Lu Jing will explore contemporary art’s discussions on time through the examination of China’s rapid socioeconomic transformation. Liu and Lu will also envision  a “virtual perspective of [the] future.” Their portion of the show will feature works by Chen Qiulin, Li Qing, Ma Haijiao and Qiu Anxiong.

Finally, “The Rhetoric of Family Tree” curated by Lan Qingwei and Du Xiyun will look to modern and contemporary Chinese artists to reflect on existing art historical narratives and the lineage of the cultural “family tree.” Probing the influences of politics, power and cultural diplomacy on the current art climate, the show will look at alternative methods and solutions that might push the trajectory of contemporary art to critically reflect the past and embrace a better, sustainable future.

The lists of participating artists for each of the four parts are as follows.

The Szechwan Tale: Theatre and History curated by Marco Scotini

Cornelius Cardew

Céline Condorelli

Chto Delat/What is to be done?

Stano Filko

Peter Friedl

Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi

Piero Gilardi

Dan Graham

Joris Ivens

Joan Jonas

Ilya & Emilia Kabakov

William Kentridge

Julius Koller

Mao Tongqiang

Rithy Panh

Michelangelo Pistoletto

Lisl Ponger

Qiu Zhijie

Pedro Reyes

Santiago Sierra

Sun Xun

Wael Shawky

Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet

Marko Tadić

Ulla Von Brandenburg

Clemens Von Wedemeyer and Maya Schweizer

Wei Minglun

Yang Yuanyuan

Mei Lanfang and the Russian Proletarian Theatre (research curator Andris Brinkmanis)

Crossroads curated by Liu Ding, Carol Lu Yinghua

Daniel García Andújar

Adam Avikainen

Paul Chan

Yorkson (Yimin Chen)

Paul Drissen

Karsten Födinger,

Marina Gioi

Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys

Lukáš Jasanský and Martin Polák

Jia Chun

Stanya Kahn

Inmi Lee

Simon Leung

Lin Gang

Lin Yilin

Lu Zhiqiang

Tomáš Rafa

Grace Schwindt

Yuan Yunsheng

The Phantom Modern (curated by Yongwoo Lee; participated by artists including Jae Oon Rho, SoYoung Kim/Kim Jeong, Jane Jin Kaisen, Kyung-man Kim)

A Future That Never Returns curated by Liu Jie, Lu Jing

Chen Qiulin

Chen Zhe

Feng Li

Li Lang

Li Qing

Liang Shaoji

Liao Fei

Liu Chuanhong

Na Yingyu

Ma Haijiao

Mr.d.mouse (Zhou Hang)

Qiu Anxiong

Qiu Hongfeng

Wang Chuan

Wu Ding

Xu Bacheng

Zhang Tianjun

The Rhetoric of Family Tree curated by Lan Qingwei, Du Xiyun

Art Education Group (Zhang Bin, Ye Hongtu)

Chen Xi

Fang Lijun


Gao Brothers (Gao Zhen, Gao Qiang)

Guo Wei

He Dan

He Duoling

He Gong

Huang Rui

Hong Lei

Li Bo

Li Luming

Li Yongzheng

Li Zhanyang

Ma Jun

Meng Baishen

Meng Huang

Mu Huan

Jiang Jie

Jing Kewen

Shen Xiaotong

Shu Qun

Sui Jianguo

Wang Guangyi

Wang Jianwei

Wang Yigang

Xie Xiaoze

Xu Bing

Yang Mian

Ye Yongqing

Yue Minjun

Zhan Wang

Zhang Dali

Zhang Xiaotao

Zhang Wenrong

Zhang Wanxin

Zhang Xiaogang

Zhang Zhaoying

Zhou Chunya

Zhu Jia

Zhu Xi 

Julee WJ Chung is ArtAsiaPacific’s assistant editor.

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