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


Third Kind of Contact


In this photograph captured by RongRong, Ma LiuMing and Zhang Huan lie naked in a bathtub covered in shorn hair. The photograph captures an ambiguous moment between the two pair where their intimacy cannot be simply defined as friends, lovers, or family members. All three artists were a part of the Beijing East Village, an avante-garde artistic community operating in the early 1990s where like-minded artists took up residence in a low-income "village" environment, just past the Third Ring Road in Beijing. The village was named after the East Village in Manhattan, which to the Beijing community represented their desired freedom of experimental aesthetics. Almost all of the participating artists of the Beijing East Village were born during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), and expression of artistic freedom was a core value shared among them. For more information on the Beijing East Village: (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beijing_East_Village) and (https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/rongrong-1993-no-10-zhang-huan-p82585) (Nicole Wang '26).


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