From the Countryside to the City: The Urban Turn of Contemporary Chinese Art


American Research in the Humanities in China




This art historical project investigates the rise of city life as a prevalent subject matter in contemporary Chinese art in the context of China’s transformation from an agrarian society into an urban and postmodern one. It looks into ways in which the ongoing urbanization has shaped the recent development of Chinese art and the restructuring of the art world, explores how artists have employed art as a critical tool to reflect upon and problematize a rapidly changing Chinese society while negotiating the new socioeconomic environment for cultural production and dissemination, and examines to which extent their work brings to light the current social, cultural, and natural conditions of China and the psychological state of its citizens.