Inspired by the Opera: Contemporary Chinese Photography and Video

When 13 Feb 2014 - 15 Jun 2014
Where Smart Museum of Art
The University of Chicago, 5550 S. Greenwood Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
Enquiry (773) 702-0200

Since the mid 1990s, a number of Chinese artists have incorporated the visual vocabulary of Chinese opera into new art forms. This concise exhibition reveals the continued relevance of opera, both within contemporary Chinese society and within the experimental work of individual artists.

It features: a series of black-and-white photographs of elderly actors by Liu Zheng that play with conventions of ethnographic and opera photography; two videos by Chen Qiulin that make use of traditional opera characters to respond to changes wrought by the Three Gorges Dam; The Forbidden City (Zijincheng) by Liu Wei, a lyrical video of theatrical “glove puppets” (budai kuilei) shown publicly for the first time; and videos by Cui Xiuwen that connect to opera in more oblique ways, through performative elements and symbolic props, gestures, and costumes.

Together, the works help illuminate the relationship between contemporary art and China’s cultural heritage.

Photo courtesy of the organiser/s

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