Zhou Yan Contemporary Chinese Art Archive 周彦当代中国艺术档案



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Conceptual art


This conceptual work is titled “Selling the Right to Exhibit in Kunsthal Rotterdam 1993” and was photographed in Rotterdam, Netherlands. “Sometimes documented in photography, its concerns are idea-based rather than formal” (Lisa S. Wainwright, “conceptual art”, Britannica, https://www.britannica.com/art/conceptual-art). The work depicts the moment of Wu Shanzhuan selling the right of his exhibit to Hans van Dijk, presumably a representative of Kunsthal Rotterdam. To the right, the artist Wu Shanzhuan leans over to look at a piece of contract on the table, and the buyer Hans stands on the left and signs on the contract. Wu’s conceptual art approach is that “art is just a business”. Noting the possible impact of commercialism on the Chinese art world in the late 1980s, Wu stated that art activity was a big business at the ‘88 Chinese Modern Art Conference in Anhui province. “Business art has lowered art down to the ‘business icon’ easily recognized by the masses,” he proclaimed. (Zhou Yan, “China/Avant-Garde Exhibition”, "A History of Contemporary Chinese Art: 1949 to Present", pp.237-238) See the link below for the back of this photograph. (Yifan Shang ‘25)



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