Stairway to Heaven: From Chinese Streets to Monuments and Skyscrapers

01/17/2009 - 04/04/2009
Stairway to Heaven: From Chinese Streets to Monuments and Skyscrapers

The work in Stairway to Heaven offers commentary and critique on the physical and cultural transformations that have occurred in China as a result of economic reform, a new influx of personal wealth and rapid industrialization. Including sculpture and video as well as still photographs, the exhibition is organized thematically using street life, the proliferation of skyscrapers and the shifting meanings of historic monuments as avenues for exploring China’s stunning transformation through the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.

The 17 Chinese artists in the exhibit provide an intimate look at how new histories are constructed and old histories are erased in a country that diligently recorded its history through the arts until the Mao era, which was dominated by propaganda and government control.

This exhibition is organized by the Bates College Museum of Art in conjunction with the H&R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute and the Luckman Fine Arts Complex at California State University, Los Angeles. The curators were Mark H.C. Bessire (Bates College Museum of Art), Gan Xu (Maine College of Art), Raechell Smith (KCAI) and Julie Joyce (CSULA).

Artists in the exhibition include: Liu Bolin, Zhang Dali, Xing Danwen, Weng Fen, Zhu Feng, Wenda Gu, Wang Jing, Hong Lei, Ma Liuming, Chen Shaoxiong, Liang Weiping, Ai Weiwei, Yening, Luo Yongjin, Yang Yongliang, Lu Yuanmin, and Gu Zheng.

The exhibition catalog Stairway to Heaven; From Chinese Streets to Monuments and Skyscrapers by Mark H. C. Bessire was published by the University Press of New England in association with Bates College Museum of Art.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Yang Youngliang’s Phantom Landscape II, No.3 is presented on the H&R Block Artspace Project Wall.

Press

The Pitch

Broken China: H&R Block Artspace Offers a Sharp, Frank View of Modern China
February 2, 2009
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The Kansas City Star

Artists Critique New China in Block Artspace Exhibit
January 31, 2009
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The Kansas City Star

Changing China: New Project Wall is just the Beginning of an Exhibit of Dissent
January 11, 2009
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Press Release

Conversation with Project Wall artist and closing reception for Stairway to Heaven
March 23, 2009
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Press Release

Stairway to Heaven: From Chinese Streets to Monuments and Skyscrapers will open January 17 at H&R Block Artspace
January 5, 2009
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