The year 2016 marked the 50th anniversary of the launch of the Cultural Revolution, a decade-long historic event (1966-1976) that was characterized by chaos and upheaval. Shortly after the revolution’s end, Chinese people and institutions began seeking and sorting out new identities, both for themselves and for the nation. The artists in Chinese dreams were shaped by the Cultural Revolution. Some were young children when it began, others were born during it, and one was born in its wake. Through their work in traditional Chinese media like porcelain, bronze, and painting as well as radical forms of expression that relate to destruction such as ash and razor blades, each has helped inform China’s subsequent outlook on its history. Similarly diverse are the metaphors of time, memory, and family that can be relevant to any culture but which have particular poignancy for those who experienced China in the second half of the 20th century.
Chinese Dreams will be on exhibit at the Bakalar & Paine Galleries through Dec. 2, 2017