The People’s Republic of China

The People's Republic of China was established after World War II. At first a strict Communist regime that looked to directly control art production as a mode of propaganda, since the 1980s, China has opened up to more diverse practices.

1949–present

videos + essays

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Xu Zhen – ‘Artists Change the Way People Think’
Xu Zhen – ‘Artists Change the Way People Think’

Conceptual artist, curator and entrepreneur Xu Zhen is a leading figure among the younger generation of Chinese contemporary artists.

Xu Bing, <em>Book from the Sky</em>
Xu Bing, Book from the Sky

Xu Bing’s text is illegible—even to those who can read Chinese.

Ai Weiwei, <em>Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn</em>
Ai Weiwei, Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn

How can the destruction of an artifact also be an act of preservation?

Luo Zhongli, <em>Father</em>
Luo Zhongli, Father

Luo Zhongli's Father remains one of the most revered paintings from this period in China’s history.

Xu Bing, <em>Monkeys Grasp for the Moon</em>
Xu Bing, Monkeys Grasp for the Moon

The artwork is based on a well-known Chinese folktale about a group of monkeys attempting to capture the moon.

Modern China (1912–present), an introduction
Modern China (1912–present), an introduction

From the end of the twentieth century to today, rapid improvements in the economy, increasing globalization, and growing status as a major political and military power have continued to significantly alter life, including in the cultural sphere, ensuring China’s place in the contemporary art field.

An interview with Au Ho-nien
An interview with Au Ho-nien

Au Ho-nien looks to Western realism and the practice of sketching from life as a way to revitalize Chinese art.

Ai Weiwei, <em>Remembering</em> and the Politics of Dissent
Ai Weiwei, Remembering and the Politics of Dissent

When thousands of schoolchildren died in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, Ai Weiwei refused to stay silent.

Liu Chunhua, <em>Chairman Mao en Route to Anyuan</em>
Liu Chunhua, Chairman Mao en Route to Anyuan

Promoting Mao as a revolutionary leader, this portrait melds Chinese landscape convention with socialist realism.

Ai Weiwei, <em>Kui Hua Zi (Sunflower Seeds)</em>
Ai Weiwei, Kui Hua Zi (Sunflower Seeds)

Over 100 million porcelain seeds filled the Tate’s Turbine Hall in a critique of conformity and censorship.

Selected Contributors