Reviews and comment from the Demon Crew - creative writers at De Montfort University, Leicester.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Did you miss out?

Dr Ming Turner's talk was exactly what it said on the tin: contemporary Chinese and Taiwanese art. No confusing theories, no in-depth lecture into the history of either country. Just art. Art with a relevant explanation.

Ming showed a lot of different examples of Chinese art, such as more western-influenced artists like Wang Guangyi. There were also Chinese artists who have to work outside China because their work deals with subjects which the Chinese government do not want out in the open. For example one piece by Yue Minjun is inspired by the events in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Dr Ming Turner went on to describe Taiwanese art, explaining that, because of Chinese rule over Taiwan in the 1940s, Taiwanese art was more traditionally Chinese than actual Chinese art has become. She showed examples of Chinese artists who are becoming quirkier and less traditional all the time, like Danniel Lee with his project on "hybridity", and Yu Youhan's take on Andy Warhol's famous Marilyn Monroe painting, merging it with Chairman Mao Zedong to create a pop-art Mao/Marilyn.

It was a shame this talk wasn't packed, because anyone with the slightest interest in art or China, or both, would have thought this talk was something to sit up and listen to. Dr Ming Turner did a brilliant job of conveying the motivations behind most Chinese and Taiwanese art, like the cultural revolution. I only wish more people could have been there. If you missed it, you missed out.

Sarah Kate Beckett

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