Nine Lives: The Birth of Avant-Garde Art in New China
By Karen J. Smith.
In 1993, 10 contemporary Chinese artists debuted at the 45th Venice Biennale. The reception was lukewarm: people wanted to know if and when the Chinese avant-garde would cut through certain quaint notions of oriental mystique and evolve a distinct identity. Today, contemporary Chinese art is everywhere, and the innovations of the artists in this volume are now recognized as primary catalysts for the contemporary scene. Nine Lives: The Birth of Avant-Garde Art in New China, first published in 2005 and now available in a revised edition, focuses on the stories of nine individuals who set it all in motion--Wang Guangyi, Geng Jianyi, Fang Lijun, Gu Dexin, Li Shan, Zhang Xiaogang, Xu Bing, Zhang Peili and Wang Jianwei. Now in its second edition, this insightful study is standard reading for anyone interested in contemporary Chinese art. Every chapter is fully illustrated with images chronicling the artists' youth, their mature work, the effects of international acclaim and the impact of the commercial art world.