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Replace with Fine Art: A Response to Modern China [FotoFocus Biennial]
Replace with Fine Art is a show of contemporary Chinese and Chinese American artists Chen Wei, Liu Bolin, Chen Qiulin, Jen Liu, and Ren Hang that comment on their contemporary lives, heritage, and China’s modernization.
Replace with Fine Art is a show of contemporary Chinese and Chinese American artists titled after a 1917 quote, “Replace Religion with Fine Art” from Cai Yuanpei, a Chinese philosopher and historian. Associate Professor of Studio Arts Emily Hanako Momohara has curated works from Chen Wei, Liu Bolin, Chen Qiulin, Jen Liu, and Ren Hang that comment on their contemporary lives, heritage, and China’s modernization.
“Replace Religion with Fine Art” as an idea declared that aesthetics and art practice were equal in importance to religion and morality. Decades after Yuanpei’s assertion in 1966, the Cultural Revolution would challenge the value of the arts with Mao’s The Little Red Book, stating: “There is in fact no such thing as art for art’s sake,” claiming that art was propaganda and therefore banning any non-state-sanctioned artworks. Fast forward 30 years: China has become a powerhouse of lens-based fine arts, entering the global art market and giving voice to young artists. Its economic and social modernization was swift and powerful. Chinese artists look back at China’s modern creatives like Yu Dafu who critically analyzed love of country and individuality. Today, a view of China mediated by Chinese and diaspora artists, like those represented in Replace with Fine Art, has emerged to give us insight into China’s formerly veiled society.
Featured Artists: Chen Wei, Liu Bolin, Chen Qiulin, Jen Liu, Ren Hang
Free to the Public
INDIVIDUAL DATES & TIMES*
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1212 Jackson Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
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