artChengdu21 is very pleased to present "Chengdu's Contemporary Movement," a selective collection of paintings by outstanding contemporary Chinese artists.

Without a doubt, the art scene in China today is the most exciting in the world. 21st-century Chinese artists are everywhere. Their work is fresh, challenging, engaging and eagerly sought by art lovers and collectors worldwide.

This artistic energy is nowhere more palpable than in the Chinese heartland city of Chengdu - the capital of the southwest Sichuan province - where an influential artists community has developed.

We are excited to provide a forum for these talented artists, who have been emerging over the last decade as a recognizable and visionary artistic force in China. Some artists quote, and others transform, the great tradition of Chinese painting. Still others employ their own unique visual imagery and language. Yet, seen together, they provide compelling evidence that Chinese artists are transcending the conventional themes of ideology and nationalist identity to tell their own individual stories on canvas. The broad diversity of the featured paintings is also evidence of the maturing complexity of the contemporary Chinese art scene.

Chengdu's artists are known for their social involvement as well as for the emotional style they use to express conflicted feelings over the rapidly changing traditional values in their country. The artists' personal friendship and the quality and visual power of their work make this community a unique phenomenon in China.

Most of the featured artists represent the post-1998 Chinese avant-garde movement and have been playing a principal role in helping contemporary Chinese art gain greater critical exposure in Asia and Europe. Together, they reflect China's cultural transformation in recent years and illustrate a trend toward confidence in unbridled artistic expression.

We hope "Chengdu's Contemporary Movement" will facilitate the cultural dialogue between Chinese artists and the American audience.


All of the artists exhibiting in artChengdu21's show have studied at the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing. Founded in 1950, the institute evolved into one of the most influential art schools in the country in the late 1970s when it opened admission to students from all parts of China as well as foreign countries. Since then, the school has produced some of the most well-known painters in China, many of whom have participated in successful solo and group exhibits in China, other parts of Asia and Europe.

The institute, located in a traditionally exciting area for artists and writers, has been the creative starting point for various painting movements, including the "Wounded Memories'' and "Home Town'' schools.

Because of its exemplary teaching traditions and its students' creative accomplishments, Sichuan Fine Arts Institute and its renowned gallery have attracted worldwide attention in recent years.

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