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Chinese Contemporary Artists to follow in 2016

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Who is making waves among China’s up-and-coming contemporary artists that are under 40? Of course the answer will differ depending who you ask. Yet, the response still illustrates the wind of China’s vibrant and growing art scene and the difficulty in defining just what is China’s contemporary art today. The post-cultural revolution artists as being a generation distinct from Zheng Fanzhi and his contemporaries. They were the cynical realism and political pop mixed with the very Chinese works.

The art being presented by a newer generation of Chinese artists born in the late 70s and early 80s is more conceptual and international in its subject matter. They are artists influenced by internet and with travel experience so they could be from everywhere. China has opened up a lot in the last 10 years so artists in the early 30., they look at art not as propaganda or political, art is just art to them, even abstract.

Some artist names that got attention either for its critically acclaimed or appreciated on auctions are Liu Wei (43) and Ciu Jie (32). Liu’s art is recognisable with horizontal lines throughout a city or landmark in a n abstract way and avoids political themes (above). Ciu Jie is primarily a painter but often works in multi-media. Her work focuses on structure and the relationship between not only individuals, but also our place within the architecture of the city.

Other artists to mention is Cao Fei (38) , a video and digital media artist who also does performance and installations. Xu Zhen (39) use a brand called “Madein” and is actively involved in his own gallery and creation of PIMO Contemporary Art Festival. Zhao Zhao (34) is a disciplinary artist, who was Ai WeiWei’s assistance and does not avoid political controversy influenced by his mentor.

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Another interesting artist is above Xu Qu (38) who uses a minimalist style for his geometric acrylic on canvas works from currency notes. His most iconic series is “Currency Wars” that are much beyond simple abstraction and make some kind of observation of the art world today.

Daniel Brostrom