Jane Chin Davidson
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Staging art and Chineseness
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Providing a contextualization for the staging of art and Chineseness, the introduction establishes the different lines of inquiry in the book and the defining connections among its different historical, social, and political subjects. The explanation of the case studies articulates the politics of Chineseness in the era of global capitalism while introducing the artists Patty Chang, Zhang Huan Cao Fei, Yuk King Tan, Wu Mali, Wong Hoy Cheong, Lee Ming-sheng, Lin Shumin, Ho Siu Kee, Stanley Wong, and Cai Guo-Qiang. Their use of performative, embodied, and video expressions provides a way to engage in the subject of the artist’s ‘self’ as an open and apparent representation of nation, immigration, citizenship, and transnationalism. The staging of the trans/nationalist Chinese identity was foregrounded by the first biennial-type art exposition held in Guangzhou in 1992 at a time when the emergence of contemporary art expositions around the world – biennials, triennials and artfairs – had come to be viewed as the new institution for global art. By situating Chineseness in the political study of art and expositions, the introduction recognizes the multiple contradictions, the paradoxes, and repetitions of history engendered by art, nationalism, capital, and status in the new global transition.

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Staging art and Chineseness

The politics of trans/nationalism and global expositions


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