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  • Nov 30, 2021

W Art Foundation Stages an Exhibition on Contemporary Asian and African Art

*This is a sponsored post.

W Art Foundation presents “Running: The New Contemporary,” at the Qingdao Art Museum in Shandong. Focusing on Asian and African artists, this exhibition aims to provide the local audience with an opportunity to explore the cultural diversity in the current global contemporary art scene and present an art-history-in-the-making that is more inclusive and diversified. 

With more than 30 works on view, this is one of the first museum-level group shows in China that focuses on contemporary artists of multiple cultural and ethnic origins and identities, among whom several are exhibiting in the country for the first time. Bringing together paintings, sculptures, installations, and video works by both established and emerging artists, “Running: The New Contemporary” demonstrates the array of artist's creative power in the post-internet era.

Curator Will Gang Wang explains that this exhibition is designed to challenge the traditional hierarchies and institutionalized stereotypes in art history, to allow visitors to explore the new directions that art is going towards: “The title—‘Running’—is a metaphor which alludes to the growing inclusion of artists and artworks that existed only in the periphery in the centuries that passed into our current global art history. Although it will encounter ups and downs as well as resistance, the current global art history canon is ‘running’ into a new era with an open mind and open arms.”

Selected Artists
Chiharu Shiota (b.1972, Japan) has been living and working in Berlin since 1997. Her protean artistic approach plays with the notions of temporality, movement, and dreams, and demands a dual engagement from the viewer, both physical and emotional.

Yesiyu Zhao (b. 1991, China) was born in Zhejiang Province but lives and works in Brooklyn. Zhao’s practice investigates the idea of being caught in between—between masculinity and femininity, between Chinese and American, and between so-called “normal” and “other.” 

Amanda Ba (b. USA) was born in Columbus, Ohio, but spent the first five years of her life with her grandparents in Hefei, China. Her work draws on race and queer relations, and is grounded in the critical theory of Mel Chen and Donna Haraway. 

Zoé Blue M. (b. 1994, USA) lives and works in Los Angeles. Her recent paintings can be seen as fragmented scenes from a story or play as her characters are often pictured on the precipice of a decisive action. 

Stacey Gillian Abe’s (b.1990, Uganda) concepts attempt to review conventional depictions of her as a Black woman, probing unsettling narratives on the subject of identity, gender, spirituality, and cultural mysticism in the past and present.

Interested in the idea of origins, artist Thebe Phetogo (b. 1993, Botswana) weaves between figurative and abstract landscape painting, in conversation with race and Setswana geography, mythology, and knowledge systems. 

Atanda Quadri Adebayo (b. 1999, Nigeria) is a Nigerian multimedia artist based in Lagos. Atanda employs different media to explore personal and socio-political issues in contemporary Nigerian society and how they affect human conditioning in the environment. 

James Jean (b.1979, Taiwan) incorporates elements of Chinese and Japanese scroll
paintings, Japanese woodblock prints, Renaissance portraiture, comic books, and
 anime into his artworks. As he experiments with different styles, he diminishes the
boundary between the old and new, and between Eastern and Western art-making.

Thina Dube’s (b.1993, South Africa) work has long explored identity politics in South
Africa. He frequently references identity’s many layers, both visible and hidden, and
its fluid quality to constantly change and respond to social environments.

W Art Foundation
W Art Foundation was founded by Mr. Will Gang Wang in Hong Kong and has bases in Hong Kong, Mr. Wang’s home city of Qingdao, and Barcelona. The foundation has been devoted to building an art collection and supporting the arts and culture at large for over a decade. It has built friendships with numerous art institutions and artists across China, Europe,  the United States, and Japan, and hosted exhibitions in Europe and in Mainland China. 

For more information on W Art Foundation, visit wart-foundation.com.

“Running: The New Contemporary” is on view now until December 5, 2021 at Qingdao Art Museum, No.37 Yushan Road, Shinan District, Qingdao, China. 

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