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Modern Arts

 
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  • Modern Art
    Modern art
    This painting, Series 2 No. 2, is by Fang Lijun,
    leader of the Cynical Realism school, which
    came about as a reaction to the demise of
    the pro-democracy movement in 1989.
    Rejecting idealism, these artists comment
    on problems in China.

    The birth of modern art in China at the start of the 20th century coincided with greater contact with the West. Experiments with new materials and styles in the visual arts, Western-style music, “spoken drama” (huaju), cinema, and modern literary forms such as free verse all took root at this time. However, after 1949, this creativity was stifled by Soviet-influenced Socialist Realism. During the Cultural Revolution many artists were even persecuted on the grounds that their works were “reactionary.” Since the 1980s and 1990s, however, there has been some liberalization in the arts and new, exciting forms have developed.

    Chinese Cinema

    Ballet in contemporary China
    Ballet in contemporary China

    From early classics such as Street Angel (1937), made in the (then) foreign enclave of Shanghai, Chinese cinema has scaled new heights of international success, with the work of such acclaimed directors as Zhang Yimou.

    Ballet in contemporary China mixes traditional Chinese and Western influences. Here, the ballet version of Zhang Yimou’s film Raise the Red Lantern is performed by members of the National Ballet.

    Ballet in contemporary China
    Orchestral and chamber music has been
    popular in China since the early 20th century.
    Today, there are many schools specializing in
    Western-style music, and several high-quality
    ensembles and artists on the world scene.
    This example of performance art is by Cang Xin, a Beijing-based conceptual artist, active since the mid-1990s. The title of this piece, Unification of Heaven and Man, alludes to classical Chinese philosophical concepts.
    This example of performance art is byCang Xin,
    a Beijing-based conceptual artist, active
    since the mid-1990s. The title of this piece,
    Unification of Heaven and Man, alludes to
    classical Chinese philosophical concepts.

    Orchestral and chamber music has been popular in China since the early 20th century. Today, there are many schools specializing in Western-style music, and several high-quality ensembles and artists on the world scene.

    The Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Pudong, Shanghai is one example of China’s high-rise architecture boom since the early 1990s.

    This example of performance art is by Cang Xin, a Beijing-based conceptual artist, active since the mid-1990s. The title of this piece, Unification of Heaven and Man, alludes to classical Chinese philosophical concepts.

     

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