On View: Selections from China is the first of a series of projects designed to showcase new and interesting work from around the world. In this and future exhibitions, much of the work will be introduced to New York viewers for the first time; other work will highlight artists we believe merit a closer look.
On View: Selections from China encapsulates the thinking behind the projects. Two of the artists, Wang Qingsong and Zhou Xiaohu, have already attracted considerable international attention, having been featured in a number of major institutional exhibitions and whose work can already be found in significant private collections outside of China. Dong Wensheng and Zheng Lianjie are just beginning to be seen and collected outside of their own country and critical interest in China is now being directed at two young photographers and video artists, Chen Wei and Cheng Ran.
A common thread to all of the work shown here is an underlying edge that seeps through the high production values. The superficial humour of Zhou Xiaohu, the theatricality of Wang Qingsong and the poignancy of Zheng Lianjie all mask a darker vision of contemporary life. The three younger artists, Dong Wensheng, Cheng Ran, and Chen Wei take a more head-on approach, where the tensions and fears of a society in transition are more palpable and much more ominous.