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Dragon & Rose Garden Paperback – March 31, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Timezone 8/Modern Chinese Art Foundation (March 31, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9081450301
  • ISBN-13: 978-9081450300
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 6.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,150,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Contemporary Chinese art is heterogeneous, chaotic, anarchic and often provocative. Modern art in China is still looking for its own identity. It is often equally unclear on what it is founded. Is this art rooted in deeper strata of Chinese culture, or is the concept of this work imported entirely from the West? Performances, political messages and satire, kitsch and poetry all go hand in hand, together with brilliantly painted scenes from the modern Chinese world and references to the classical tradition of painting in ink on paper. Politics is never far off in this work. The artists systematically probe the unwritten boundaries within which the political regime allows them to work. They passionately experiment to find out exactly how far they can exceed these boundaries without being called back into line.
The same question can be asked regarding this new art as for the transformation of the Chinese cities, especially Beijing: to what extent will the modern art of China still be Chinese art?

Sus Van Elzen, excerpted from her Introduction to Dragon & Rose Garden: Art and Power in China.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Review by Sinologist Simon Leys on November 1, 2010
Sinologue Simon Leys wrote about the book:

" Dragon & Rose Garden - Art and Power in China." ,by Sus van Elzen

Spectacular metamorphoses taking place in China today, are affecting all major aspect of national life (the only, be it considerable, exception being politics: there, sure enough, the Communist Party intends to keep its strict monopoly of power).
This recent creative explosion is particularly impressive in the cultural field, above all in the visual and spatial arts, where a new generation of artists is manifesting itself now with surprising imagination, originality and freedom - and drawing indeed the attention of a vast international audience of connoisseurs and collectors.
This movement gets its most dynamic, exuberant and provocative character at the highest in the capital Beijing, where the transformations of the city itself reflect the paradoxes and the problematic nature of contemporary Chinese culture: with a perplexing rapidity (accelerated by the recent Olympic hysteria) the exquisite beauty of traditional Beijing has been destroyed almost entirely, to be replaced by a futuristic, inhuman, rootless, surrealist and cosmopolitan megalopolis.
It is impossible to predict where this new culture will lead, but it is essential right now to understand its main components. The sudden flourishing of the arts represents in a high proportion the irrepressible reaction of a people that after sixty years of totalitarian enlistment, finally recovers a margin of freedom for its innate genius. The maoist catastrophe, with its culmination in the tragedy of the "Cultural Revolution", has by now been evacuated from memory by order of the authorities. But artistic activity is by definition, the affirmation of an identity.
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