Zheng Guogu, calligraphy
360 x 90 cm
“Are you coming to appreciate calligraphy or to test your blood pressure?” at ShanghART, Shanghai, May 15 - 25, 2002
In Yangjiang (Guangdong province), young artistic circles centering around the influence and guidance of Zheng Guogu seem to have continuously and joyfully rebelled against the traditional ´serious and conscientious´ attitude towards art-making widely employed by the majority of artists. Flying in the face of tradition, their various artistic projects seem unrelated for they totally lack any form of coherence that most artists strive for in the development of their works.
Working as a collective, they have playfully entered a multi-story building called ´Calligraphy´ where they have run havoc merging cutting edge contemporary thinking with one of the oldest and most traditional art forms. They have sometimes outraged the more conservative of us with their radical working methods with the original intention, perhaps, of "making a feint to the East and an attack in the West". But then in this age of hyper-consumerism and Westernization, where is the West? Where is the East? As borders are gradually being blurred, it is no longer meaningful to make such distinctions and certainly, they themselves don´t want to be drawn into the issue. It is without doubt difficult for one to grasp immediately the exact intentions of the young people from Yangjiang.
Assembled under the seemingly unadventurous banner of ´Calligraphy´, there works may initially appear as placid and simple as the surface of a quiet ocean. But when waves begin to surge, things become chaotic and uncertain.
Theirs is a completely creative and revolutionary approach. "Feigning madness and acting as idiots", it is an energizing and entertaining game with a touch of playful rebelliousness.
ShanghART gallery welcomes four of these pioneers from Guangdong - Chen Zaiyan, Sha Yeya, Sun Qinglin and Zheng Guogu - to showcase their ´calligraphy´ as hybrids of contemporary art in Shanghai this May 15th - 25th 2002.