|Zhan Wang has slowed the destruction of Beijing's historic walls by copying some of them in stainless steel.|
Map of Beijing showing Zhan's walls
a steel wall
The Beijing International Exhibition of Computerized Art and Design '97 is impressively titled. The dignitaries assembled for the opening ceremony vouched for an art event of major importance. Held on the steps of the exhibition hall of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, the line-up included representatives from Hewlett-Packard, a major sponsor, and the deans of design schools in such distance places as Finland, Israel, Spain, and Los Angeles.
After the speeches, in English, Chinese, and translatorese, everyone streamed into the hall to view the art. This phase of the opening passed quickly. Within minutes, only a few stragglers and camera crews interviewing artists remained in the exhibition rooms.
Clearly the art exhibited played an insignificant role in the opening event. All the works shown are computer graphic designs moused together by students and faculty from art schools in China and selected countries. Similarly uninspired designs can be found tacked to the walls of many university art departments.
A few local artists commented that the exhibition did not have anything they would call art. Still, by promoting computer-based art, Hewlett-Packard and other companies are validating the computer as an art instrument. A computer-friendly attitude is an essential step in broadening Chinese acceptance of Media Art.
Film-maker Wu Wenguang videotaping at exhibition.
[He will show-and-tell at MoMA, November 24th at 6:30 pm, in the presentation series "Video Viewpoints."]
|Ma Gong is the coordinator of the exhibition.|