Interview: He Libin

He Libin

(Interview with the artist in his studio. 30th April 2010. Present: He Libin, Luo Fei and Anders Gustafsson.)

I once read a text by Jeff Crosby, where he emphasized that Kunming historically did play an often overlooked role in China’s road to modernity: from it’s time as a French outpost, to its role as a refuge for Chinese intellectuals during the Japanese occupation, Kunming often led the way for China’s embrace of modern ideas. I guess the South West Art Research Group should also be mentioned here. Do you see Kunming’s art community building on this heritage, or should we declare it dead and buried?

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Turn round is barren field – On He Libin’s “Wild Field” series painting

Turn round is barren field – On He Libin’s “Wild Field” series painting

By Luo Fei

Contemporary art we discuss today in fact is a kind of art on metropolis. It points to the modern social system of metropolis in such aspects as theme, style, trend of thought, economic system and target audience. Although such an idea can’t embrace all contemporary art, we can find that such a tendency is influencing the interest of mainstream artistic circle and the creation of contemporary artists if we refer to the themes of international Biannual exhibitions held in recent years. Indeed, as a cultural incident, contemporary art has its cultural pertinence to survival in metropolis, has criticism and concerns and holds together the echoing in cultural psychology with the target group-city dwellers, organic experience and survival experiences. This kind of grand depiction on metropolis can’t provide a kind of foreseeable critical stand to the survival situation of contemporary people, for the depicter himself is also at a certain layer in the society. Sometimes, we just get the opposite to what we wish and have a kind of fawning, i.e. the coquettish art in late 1990s, today’s big face painting school, prevalent brutal youth diary style as well as auto finishing swept the sculpting circle. In order to reflect the blundering and flattering reality, artists decide to make themselves and their art even more blundering and seductive. Such criticism is just an ineffective solution.

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