Luise Guest

From this Author

Nature/Revelation at the Ian Potter Museum

Berndnaut Smilde, 
Nimbus D'Aspremont
2012
digital C-type print mounted on diabond
75 x 110 cm 
Courtesy the artist and Ronchini Gallery, London

Entering Nature/Revelation, in the rather hushed surrounds of Melbourne University’s Ian Potter Museum, the first thing visitors encounter is an enormous sperm whale. Looming in the darkened space, it has a startling presence and gravitas, even more so when you realize it’s a graphite drawing. Its skin is pitted, marked and scarred by travels through a world still mysterious to us, and its tiny eye regards us mournfully.[…..]

Anarchy, Tea, and After-Dinner Calligraphy: Interview with the Yangjiang Group

Yangjiang Group. Final Days, 2015; installation view, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, wax and modified clothing installation,
dimensions variable. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. Courtesy the artists and Vitamin Creative Space, Guangzhou. Photo: Zan Wimberley

For contemporary Chinese artists Zheng Guogu, Chen Zaiyan, and Sun Qinglin—known as the Yangjiang Group—art is about social action and everyday life, including the practice of calligraphy, shopping, football, gambling, drinking, and eating. They believe art and life are entirely connected, resisting the commercialism of the art market and the over-intellectualization of art. Their latest project, Actions for Tomorrow, includes a live event, Tea Office, as a[…..]

From Beijing: Beijing Voice and Zhang Xiaotao at Pékin Fine Arts

Beijing Voice 'Unlived By What is Seen' installation view courtesy Pace Beijing

There has been noise of late about the supposedly derivative nature of contemporary art, about questionable curatorial practices, and about the piratical behavior of the art market. “Zombie Formalism” and “Crapstraction” are glib, voguish—although, it must be said, amusing—terms that have been thrown around. Whatever you may think about this critique of current tendencies in abstract painting, it seems that all is not well in the world[…..]

COMMUNE at White Rabbit Gallery of Contemporary Chinese Art

Xia XIng, '2010', 2010 - 2011, oil on canvas, 35 x 50cm (x60) image courtesy White Rabbit Gallery

The word commune, whether used as a noun or a verb, has complex connotations. From earnest Utopianism to grim, state-enforced collectivism; from familial relationships and networks to our connection with the natural world—all of these possible associations are present in the new show at Sydney’s White Rabbit Gallery of Contemporary Chinese Art. From Judith Neilson’s impressive collection, curator Bonnie Hudson has selected works by twenty-three artists.[…..]

Home and Away: Chien-chi Chang and Chen Chieh-jen at the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation

Chen Chieh-jen Realm of Reverberations, installation view at Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation image courtesy SCAF

The word “home” has elusive, slippery connotations. In Chinese, the character “jia” (家) also means “family.” It suggests notions of sanctuary, shelter, belonging. But for some the meanings are more complicated. For the marginalized, the outsiders, the lost ones in our midst, it reminds them of all that is missing. For others, in a world crisscrossed by a diaspora of dislocated people seeking safety and[…..]

China Syndrome: Six Exhibitions in Beijing

Wu Jian'an, Transformations, installation view, courtesy Chambers Fine Art

Beijing is exhausting, exhilarating, infuriating, appalling, and wonderful, all at the same time. The energy of the city, undefeated by its weight of imperial and revolutionary history, or by the dead hand of contemporary politics and power struggles, is encapsulated in the lively diversity of its art scene. In the late 1990s and the early years of this century, Chinese artists were rock stars, earning[…..]

Subverting the Sublime: Wondermountain at Penrith Regional Gallery

Hua Tunan, Fluorescent impression shanshui, 2013, spray paint, 300 x 500, image courtesy the artist

It seemed entirely appropriate that my journey to see Wondermountain at the Penrith Regional Gallery and Lewers Bequest was through rain, a concrete landscape of freeways and overpasses obscured by my windscreen wipers. I arrived beside the swollen Nepean River, the Blue Mountains shrouded in mist, reflecting on the continuing importance of shanshui (mountain/water) painting. A poetic approach to representing landscape evolving from the Tang Dynasty, the[…..]