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UNSW Art & Design presents at 4A: Photographs, Photocopies, and Lianhuanhua: The Early Works of Wang Youshen, 1985-1990


via Zoom Webinar: register in advance for this webinar here.

Join Dr. Shuxia Chen in conversation with Dr Yu-Chieh Li for a discussion on photographs, photocopies, and lianhuanhua in the context of the early works of Wang Youshen.

After the first electrostatic photocopier was successfully replicated in 1966, based on an imported Xerox photocopier, the Chinese photocopier machine industry continued to develop, particularly from the mid-1980s. With relatively easy access, and a zeal for experimentation typical of the ’85 New Wave Movement, the use of photocopiers to produce new artworks emerged in the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in Beijing. Having reopened in 1978, after the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution, the CAFA curriculum encouraged artistic exploration in different media and materials. By examining works, particularly lianhuanhua “linked/serial pictures”, produced with a photocopier by Wang Youshen, then a student in the Nnianhua (new year painting) and Lianhuanhua Department at CAFA, this talk investigates the combination of photography and photocopying as an experimental medium, and how reproduction endowed traditional genres such as lianhuanhua with a new “aura” in 1980s China.

In this talk, Dr. Shuxia Chen argues that the way this new “aura” was generated by crossing over between media, materials and genres, broke boundaries in a manner typical of postmodern or contemporary art practices, and hence sheds light on the emergence of contemporary art in China from the 1990s.

Dec 2, 2020 06:00 PM in Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney

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