Gaudy Art


Gaudy Art
(Yansu yishu)
Gaudy Art is a mid 1990s art movement appropriating the bright aesthetics of folk art and consumer culture. Yansu is a neologism (see neologisms) originally coined by art critic Li Xianting to translate ‘kitsch’, and later translated back as ‘gaudy’ to refer to the Chinese art phenomenon, the word being a composite of the words ‘garish’ (yan) and ‘vulgar’ (su). Gaudy art was first identified as a new trend in 1996 with the exhibitions ‘Rouge Life’ (Yanzhuang shenghuo), ‘Model for the Masses’ (Dazhong yangban), ‘Brightly Coloured Peach and Plum Blossoms Among the Ruins’ (Kuilan zhi chu, yanruo taoli) and ‘The Damage from the Flooding of China’ (Fuhuade Shanghai). Curated by Li Xianting, they featured works by Wang Jinsong, Qi Zhilong, Xu Yihui, Yang Wei, Feng Zhengjie and the Luo Brothers.
As a reaction to the 1989 movements, Gaudy Art reflected on society’s loss of ideals and the superfluity of the artist: ‘It demonstrates the powerlessness of art to impact on the pervasiveness of consumerism in today’s reality’ (Li Xianting). Not so much kitsch as a parody of it, it comments on the parasitical but meaningless reproduction of cultural signifiers and traditional motifs, turning the artist into a witty but marginalized commentator with little alternative but to knowingly become a part of the same game. A prominent example is Xu Yihui’s Art History (Yishushi, 1999) in which he uses garish ceramic flower plate calligraphy to construct an altar eulogy to contemporary art ‘shit’, a pun on and homophone of the word ‘history’ (shi). Yu Bogong’s silk sculpture of a turd with wings, Shit with a Dream (Manhuai lixiang de dabian), is another satirical excretion typical of this current.
Liao, Wen and Li, Xianting (1999). Oh La La Kitsch. Wuhan. Hunan Fine Arts Publishing House.
EDUARDO WELSH

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • art exhibitions — experimental, 1980s The 1980s saw a surge in exhibitions showing innovative experimental art which fell outside the accepted political and ideological conventions. This art drew on an ongoing link with a pre 1949 modernism that had subsequently… …   Encyclopedia of Contemporary Chinese Culture

  • Art Deco — The art deco spire of the Chrysler Building in New York, built 1928–1930 …   Wikipedia

  • art —    The study of English regional folk art styles has been deplorably neglected. Yet visual display has always been essential to many traditional customs; even if the objects created were only to be seen for one day, they had to have an impact.… …   A Dictionary of English folklore

  • Western art history — Also see articles: History of painting, Western painting Western Art redirects here. For art of the American West, see Artists of the American West Western art is the art of Europe, and those parts of the world that have come to follow… …   Wikipedia

  • Romanesque art — refers to the art of Western Europe from approximately 1000 AD to the rise of the Gothic style in the 13th century, or later, depending on region. The preceding period is increasingly known as the Pre Romanesque. The term was invented by 19th… …   Wikipedia

  • Li Xianting — b. 1949, Jilin Art critic, curator Li Xianting graduated from the Department of Traditional Chinese Ink Painting at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing (1978). Between 1978 and 1980 he was one of the editors of the magazine Meishu [Fine… …   Encyclopedia of Contemporary Chinese Culture

  • German words used in English — English has been steadily adopting words from German for several centuries, although there are fewer loans of phrases than there are from French. There are sometimes changes of form (e.g. kaput) or changes of meaning (e.g. spiel). The table below …   Modern English usage

  • theatre, Western — ▪ art Introduction       history of the Western theatre from its origins in pre Classical antiquity to the present.       For a discussion of drama as a literary form, see dramatic literature and the articles on individual national literatures.… …   Universalium

  • St Edward's School, Oxford — Infobox UK school name = St. Edward s School, Oxford size = 125px latitude = longitude = dms = motto = Pietas Parentum (Latin: Fillal Affection ) motto pl = established = 1863 approx = closed = c approx = type = Public School religion = president …   Wikipedia

  • performing arts — arts or skills that require public performance, as acting, singing, or dancing. [1945 50] * * * ▪ 2009 Introduction Music Classical.       The last vestiges of the Cold War seemed to thaw for a moment on Feb. 26, 2008, when the unfamiliar strains …   Universalium


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.