Valerie’s Long March 6/10

May 7th, 2014

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Liu Danhua’s Thumbtacks

In this “chapter” of our current series on Chinese contemporary art by Zhang “Valerie” Fang, we can observe that one step in China’s Long March is an exploratory one. The attached article is a case study of artist working sculpturally who both mimic mundane materials, and create with materials most immediately found around them.

Please enjoy this sixth of Valerie’s ten, “China’s Long March: Ten essays on Chinese contemporary art,” originally published in a Spanish lifestyle magazine, and shared with us by the permission of the author.


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Valerie’s Long March 4/10

April 16th, 2014

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Zhang “Valerie” Fang is an art historian and critic, based in Beijing, China. We have been presenting her writings on Chinese contemporary art, and this fourth installment directs out attention to the issue of Chinese family planning. In the article she includes her own experience as a mother of two (at the point of authorship, and now three children.)  Valerie illustrates a narrative of parental hopes and expectations from a very personal perspective.

Many emerging contemporary artists deal with their own psychology coming from one-child family homes, and question the implications on society. The Armory recently commissioned Xu Zhen for their 2014 expo, who is of this younger generation. A group that is said to speak a more “international” language, according to curator, Phil Tinari. Interestingly, there is also one French artist who addresses the particular impact of this policy, as a woman. Her name is Prune Noray, and she worked in collaboration with a Chinese craftsman, on Terracotta Daughters.

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Please enjoy this fourth of Valerie’s ten, “China’s Long March: Ten essays on Chinese contemporary art,” with the English and Spanish translation side by side.


A snapshot of Valerie with her family in Chelsea, NYC, c. 2012

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Valerie’s Long March 3/10

April 10th, 2014

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We are in the third week of our series on the development of Chinese contemporary art. We continue with another installment by Zhang “Valerie” Fang. In this editorial, she recalls a saying that illustrates some of the tensions of Chinese re-emergence into contemporary society… It references innovations which originated in China, but that the Chinese did not fully benefit from.

“Westerners used gun powder in guns while the Chinese used it to make fireworks. Westerners used the compass for navigation while the Chinese used it to determine the location of new houses or tombs. Westerners used printing and paper to publish new books on science while the Chinese used them for printing exams.”

Here (linked) is the third of Valerie’s ten, “China’s Long March: Ten essays on Chinese contemporary art,” with the English and Spanish translation side by side.

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Valerie’s Long March 1/10

March 26th, 2014


Zhang (Valerie) Fang presenting on the work of Wang Quingsong at NYCAMS in 2013

I first met Valerie at a studio visit in Cao Changdi village, Beijing. The tour of her husband’s studio was lead by curator and gallerist, James Elaine. Acting as Wang Quingsong’s translator and theoretical representative, she was articulate and expressive of his ideas as well as her own. I soon discovered how much her critical voice is truly valuable in the overall landscape of Chinese contemporary art.

In the following series of posts, Valerie shares with us a string of 10 articles that she has written on the contemporary artwork of China. Each was originally published in a Spanish magazine, and is published on our site with the author’s permission.

“I hope to present a holistic picture of the development of Chinese contemporary art from my own viewpoint, and I look forward to critical feedback from colleagues world-wide.” – Zhang Fang

Here (linked) is the first of the ten, “China’s Long March: Ten essays on Chinese contemporary art,” with the English and Spanish translation side by side.

Please follow along, and look for the rest of Valerie’s writings on future Women Wednesdays!

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Loving Rebecca Chamberlain + the “living” space

March 13th, 2013

Right before I started my first year in college for art history, someone told me that the best way to learn about an artist is to think of him / her as someone who you would fall in love with. Looking back, it is ironic and rather cliché that I first came cross Rebecca Chamberlain’s work by coincidence on a rainy day. I was wandering around the lower east side and just like other love stories, there must have been a series of unlikely circumstances which brought me to meet her (work). As an art history student, all my love was devoted to portraiture both in sculpture and paint. However architecture slide lectures were the most challenging to get through while staying awake. The gallery representative triggered the curious bug in me as I complimented the space, (which used to be a sausage factory.) It was after our interaction that I walked down the black spiraling metal staircase and officially met face-to-face with the Homatorium I exhibition. EXPAND POST

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