Birgit Mersmann
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Creations of diasporic aesthetics and migratory imagery in Chinese Australian Art
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The inclusion of Chinese contemporary art in the exhibition, collection, and market circles of the global contemporary art world, was brought about by both the global response to the rise of China as an economic and cultural superpower and the increased migration of Chinese mainland artists since the 1980s, which elicited a diasporisation of the Chinese art scene. This particular constellation makes it necessary to rethink global contemporary Chinese art from the transnational perspective of migration and diaspora studies. By focusing on two Chinese overseas artists – Ah Xian and Fan Dong Wang, who share the experience of emigrating from mainland China to Australia in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Massacre of 1989 – this chapter analyses the production of diasporic Chineseness in Chinese Australian art with regard to the globalisation of contemporary Chinese art. Drawing on the concept of the ‘migrant image’, it discusses conditions for and elements of diasporic aesthetics and migratory imagery in the cross-cultural work of Chinese overseas art. This case-study analysis explores the impact of migration and the diasporic experience on the creation of art, in particular on the role of transculturation between Chinese and Western art traditions and the significance of image ambiguation for aesthetic transmigration.

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Art and migration

Revisioning the borders of community


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