The American Pavilion/Shanghai Art Fair Fills Up with a Strong Curatorial Presence
From September 14-18, 2011 and with utmost anticipation, the XV edition of Shanghai Art Fair is coming together to form a whole cultural context between nations from the East and the West converging on the Hong Qiao Development Zone, at ShanghaiMART, China’s gateway to world trade.
The first American Pavilion to be formed in this 15 year old international art fair, inside a world-class building with more than 37,000 square meters of exhibition space, will present to overseas and domestic collectors, a window of an art selection that has a distinctive curatorial appearance.
From representational sculptures to abstract installations to contemporary galleries the American Pavilion will present a fresh outlook of varied themes about the channels in which artists from the West bring inspiration and ideas to the East interlacing a cultural compatible bridge in unprecedented ways.
The American Pavilion will tell the story of the American essence, a place of opportunity and diversity where artists from all countries come together to change a landscape for the better.
“Uniting strong US galleries, artists, curators and mass media outlets have been one of my priorities as the Associate Director of the American Pavilion,” says Aldo Castillo who believes that success of any profitable global art market requires a prominent artistic venue, a quality of the art exhibited and the strength of the international press-media to properly publicize it.
A curatorial project titled “Urban American Landscapes,” is aiming to present the dynamic and metamorphosis of a sliver of urban America to China showing how generations of artists in the U.S., responded to changes after World Wars, consumerism, planned obsolescence and the growth of urban sprawl.
“The majority of artists today uses mass media as inspiration, found objects and materials as their canvas mixing, art, design, theater, advertising and lifestyle,” says Inez Suen, Curator of the American Pavilion Shanghai Art Fair 2011 and Director of the International Chinese Fine Arts Council.
“This new internationally aware, relentless self-promoting generation fueled by the digital revolution, is challenging academia and redefining the roles of the art world,” she adds.
The promotional piece of the American Pavilion will be an installation titled “People’s Garden” by Colombian artist and architect Hugo Zapata.
Zapata who first visited China in 1977 as part of a Colombian artist delegation and whose serigraphy piece “Estelas” was given to Lan Pignan, Mao Zedong’s Minister of Relations, discovered back then how the Chinese artisans worked the stone.
Represented by Studio International, Zapata’s installation will present an ornamental garden of colorful flowers carved from stone as an ephemeral element to represent the unity and strength of the Chinese people and their eternal influence on the world.
Another Studio International artist that is also representing the American Pavilion is abstract painter, filmmaker and architect, Terry Krumm.
Mentored by acclaimed painter, Adolf Gottlieb, Krumm had taught at Hunter College, Pratt Institute, NYU, and lectured at Princeton University.
In the 1960’s, Krumm created Creative Research in Art and Media, CRAM, where he used film techniques to disseminate information.
Reemerging from decades of anonymity, Krumm’s work revives his contemporary roots connecting the past and future evoking a nomadic journey of personal evolution that is the perpetual plight of the American, a theme that has resonated throughout the history of American art.
Embracing new-media technologies for advertising, marketing, and publicity, the American Pavilion will present a new PBS one hour long documentary “West Encounters East,” by producer Linda Corley and sponsored by Stella Holmes, an arts patron who first brought the gallery nights to the Financial District in Brickell, Miami.
“West Encounters East,” focuses on the power of the Eastern aesthetic on today's Western world and documents how art fairs such as Basel and Shanghai have globally become a barometer of the buying trends of the art world.
Corley and Holmes feel it imperative to document what the big leaguers are saying about the emerging art scene in Asia.
“It makes perfect sense to begin documenting where it all has started, it’s crucial to find out how India, China and Japan are holding their own among the giants of the art scene," says Holmes.
An innovative opportunity for artists and American galleries is currently on the market at the American Pavilion with 10-solo exhibition booths that will be available for those who demonstrate the ability to communicate the visual language and personality of the urban American cities to the Chinese market.
“We are accepting all mediums with an emphasis on new media and multidisciplinary work, new emerging galleries to represent their hottest artist or artists themselves who wish to participate on their own,” says Curator Inez Suen.
Another aspect of the new-media technologies embraced by the American Pavilion is the thorough online coverage by the Miami-based blog What’s Up Miami? which will be traveling to Shanghai to continue with its characteristic reporting style covering all the artistic happenings that will take place within the pavilion, the fair and at the hottest Shanghai art galleries.
At the 2nd largest market in the world, and at the world’s largest consumer base, the American Pavilion Art Shanghai 2011 will greatly surprise visitors to show them how the exotic western landscape juxtaposes in the Shanghai contemporary art scene.
What's Up Miami WUM To travel to China
What's Up Miami WUM, a blog turned-journal will be traveling to Shanghai to the new Town Central Park Hongqiao to document another Chinese international art fair: ART SHANGHAI 2012.
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