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Chinese Utopias Revisited The Elephants – Brussels, 2015


For a number of decades now, the old art world in the West has been waking up to the fact that an amazing phenomenon has emerged far away in China and is still winning in force: Chinese artists have been recognized for making important contributions to the globalized art world. Some Europeans try to turn a blind eye to the phenomenon, other show ever have understood the historical change Chinese artists have brought forward and are trying to get them into their systems. 

As an exhibition, Chinese Utopias Revisited – The Elephants is neither about denial, nor about the appropriation of Chinese contemporary art. It is the fruit of a unique curatorial approach. Never before has a most exclusive choice of Chinese artists been presented in a major European city, in a fair and open dialogue with colleague artists from all over the world. The effect is most surprising: Chinese artists are no longer distinguished primarily by their Chinese identity but become logical and appreciated contributors to a universal debate called the visual arts. This exhibition is a result of a long line of collaborative programs between the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), and also a response to the exhibition “Master Mould & Copy Room” held last year at Art Museum of Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA Art Museum) in Beijing, curated by Hans De Wolf and initiated by the Brussels Capital region. This exchange that is supported by BOZAR, is an example of sustainable cultural diplomacy, and leads to solid bilateral networks that continue functioning beyond each project.

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