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Xianrui: 10 Years | 鮮銳:十年

XianRui: 10 Years

April 7, 2018 - August 18, 2018 | Symposium: August 11, 2018

This exhibition marks the Tenth Anniversary of its groundbreaking XianRui (Fresh and Sharp) exhibition series with a look back at the six artists whose work has been presented through this important initiative to support mid-career but under-recognized artists of Chinese descent at critical junctures in their practices. Artists: Beili Liu, Dora Hsiung, Stella Zhang, Zheng Chongbin, Adrian Wong, Summer Mei-ling Lee


XianRui is more of an institutional statement - taking root in the space of a cultural center - rather than a mere exhibition series aiming to introduce contemporary art. Besides advocating for cultural equity and the resistance of assimilation and stereotypes. It stands on the frontline of shifting power dynamics predetermined by the hegemonic class. Calling for a redeployment of resources, XianRui is one of the first initiatives to support exceptional, but under-recognized artists of Chinese descent, and so far still remains the only one of its kind in the country. The exhibition series leads the historic organization in morphing into a movement dedicated to revitalizing the neighborhood with new images. At the same time, the series reinforces CCC’s core competency in the art field. Simultaneously, CCC increases its focus on trans-national dialogue and socially-engaged art, while the network developed by XianRui, lays a solid foundation for more innovations going forward. XianRui: Ten Years reclaims the collective presence of six XianRui fellow artists, who continuously respond to the urgency of the autonomous expression of creativity breaking through a preconceived notion of culture. Hence, it conveys a variety of artist-led cultural statements.

In 2008, Beili Liu reinterprets ancient Chinese mythologies and metaphorical symbols with astonishing visual languages through multimedia. In 2009, Dora Hsiung enriches the meanings of abstractism by infusing the body into the organically formed geometry. In 2010, Stella Zhang combines the dexterous techniques and eastern philosophies of rigorous fine arts trainings in China and Japan, with the awakening of the female subjective in America. Zheng Chongbin, in 2011, invents the concept of “white ink” through interactions of ink, acrylic, paper, light, and space. Not only breaking the structure of ink (black) and xuan paper (white), Zheng also proposes a critique to anthropocene through this traditional art genre and medium. Observing the similarity of the population and architectural aesthetics in San Francisco Chinatown and Hong Kong, Adrian Wong, in 2012, proclaims a new type of humanistic study by examining the fragmental artificial landscape in the urban sphere. In 2014, Summer Mei-ling Lee’s family archives bring her to a liminal space between presence and absence, inherent affiliation and perpetual disconnection.

The artwork in XianRui: Ten Years ranges from one previously shown during its debut in CCC, to new installations specifically designed for the space. The exhibition extends the themes that the artists explored in their previous solo shows, and exposes the many new directions developed following the same threads ⎼ geometric structures and interpersonal relations (physically or conceptually), new materialism, architecture, topography, telepathy, and geomancy. The artists’ works are assembled in one space--embodying their individual characters, and challenging the audience to link the ideas beyond causal sequential relations. For instance, Lee subtly taps on Zhang’s framework with a shadow, Zhang coincidentally interacts with the objects of Zheng, who works in transdisciplinary tactics like Wong. Without overemphasizing the ethnic traits, they all insinuate the inevitable questions of identity: cultural identity emerged in artistic experiments in materials and body; the independent art space defends and nurtures this process; the organization continues to evolve and forces a traction of thinking on how a cultural center becomes one of the gateways of equality, diversity, and revolution in the city.

Re-Model the Art Symposium

Participants: Adrian Wong, Dr. Alpesh Patel, Beili Liu, Dr. Jacqueline Francis, Dr. Margo Machida, Stella Zhang, Summer Mei-Ling Lee

Re-imagining the nexus of contemporary Asian American art practices in the crossing of art and cultural spaces. At the 10th year juncture of the XianRui Series by the Chinese Culture Center, Re-Model the Art brought together thought leaders, top scholars, artists, and curators to reflect on current contemporary art practices as a means to define cultural and community spaces. The symposium format featured pop-up presentations, critical conversation, and case study lectures to pursue a dialogue on how curatorial strategies act as a form of resistance, and as a mode to progressively shape and reshape art, the artist, and the art space.



About XianRui (Fresh and Sharp) Exhibition Series

XianRui (translated as “Fresh and Sharp” in Chinese) is the nation’s first initiative to feature work by pioneering mid-career artist contemporary artists of Chinese descent. A signature series launched by Artistic Director and Curator Abby Chen, it highlights under-recognized artists with a major solo exhibition. XianRui was launched with the support of the Phyllis Wattis Foundation, Grants for the Arts, San Francisco Foundation with additional support during the series from Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Exhibitions from the past 10 years have partnered with Red Clay Art Lovers Club, Asian Art Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center, and the San Francisco International Arts Festival.


鮮鋭 XianRui 10 years is made possible by: National Endowment for the Arts, San Francisco Arts Commission, and Fleishhacker Foundation


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