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The Chinese Without Chineseness: Chinese Contemporary Art From Cultural Symbol To International Style

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Chapter Summary

Chinese contemporary art emerged in the late 1970s. The regenerative avant-garde in China at that time was still a kind of avant-garde, even if its original version in the west had lost its status as the contemporary art. In this chapter, the author highlights that Chinese contemporary art comes to a new stage with the new International Style. The author argues that only in this new stage can, ironically, Chinese contemporary art find its identity. From the author's perspective, the best sample for this new International Style in Chinese contemporary art is Xu Bing's art, especially Book from the Earth. In other words, Xu Bing's development is the epitome of the change from an art that incorporates cultural symbols to one that is in the new International style in Chinese contemporary art.

Keywords: avant-garde; Book from the Earth; Chinese contemporary art; Chinese cultural symbols; Xu Bing



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