Some might criticize that it is almost too late for such a focus, since the great boom of contemporary art from China is already a thing of the past. The easily bored caravan of global art tourists has since moved on. To Poland, Brazil, India or whatever the next “flavor of the week” might be.
And this is precisely why now is exactly the right time to finally take a serious look at the art scene of this enormous country, which remains an enigma for most Western art enthusiasts. Far removed from all the clichés and preconceptions that actually date back to the Cultural Revolution and the period immediately following, the sensitively and intelligently curated group exhibitions and carefully selected solo presentations and special projects by emerging artists and internationally acclaimed art personalities from China offer exciting insights into a faraway world, which many of us thought we already knew.
From new talents living and working in the tradition-steeped academy city of Chongqing in Sichuan Province in the southwest of China and award-winning artists such as Ai Weiwei, Fang Lijun and the photojournalist Liu Heung Shing to the imaginative, painting-inspired photoworks of Chen Fuli – visitors to SAM 2013 will be granted a multifaceted and unadulterated view of contemporary art and the rapidly changing society in the new China of today and tomorrow.