Glass.China is a pioneering exhibition. It shows sculptures of significant Chinese artists together with photographs of China by the German film artist and photographer Ulrike Ottinger. The exhibition captures a rare and extraordinary epoch in the social and cultural development of China and is the first exhibition of an exciting artistic phenomenon that has not been seen outside of China to date.
NEW IN CHINA: CONTEMPORARY GLASS
Glass is being used in China as a medium for contemporary art only since 2000: a very short time compared to the USA, Europe, Australia, and Japan where studio glass has increasingly gained in significance since the 1960s. Meanwhile the first generation of artists has emerged, unnoticed by the international art and glass scene. After several years of seeking and learning, in part by imitating Western models, artists have started to develop their own language. Original inventions are on the increase; the initial anonymity is starting to dissipate. Artists link and fuse the new from the West with their own national traditions and skills. Contents, message, and symbolism stand in the foreground; beauty and the particular qualities of the material glass receive little emphasis on the other hand. Some works address social problems with great sensitivity. They have a contemporary energy and are often anchored in Chinese cultural and historical traditions.
The artists: Guan Donghai, He Mei Dan, Lee Carol, Lee Ringo, Li Fubiao, Li Zhenning, Sun Yi, Wang Qin, Wang Sunny, Xue Lu, Zhao Tingting and Zhuang Xiao Wei.
NEW AT THE FOUNDATION: PHOTOGRAPHY
With its first presentation of photographic works, the foundation makes its aim to show works of art beyond the medium of glass, as determined at the beginning of 2008, publicly visible. Ulrike Ottinger, one of Germany’s most original women filmmakers, has visited China repeatedly since 1984. In her series of works entitled Behind Glass, Ulrike Ottinger uses glass as a means to create boundaries and distance between two areas: outside and inside, private and public, I and the others. At the same time glass connects. The viewer sees and experiences the next level through its transparency and spontaneously becomes a participating observer.