Born under China’s one-child policy in the 1980s and raised amidst the country’s recent social and economic changes, China’s “lost” generation has gained a reputation for unprecedented individualism, ambition, and distinctive sense of humor. Curated by Nicky Ni, this program brings together a group of emerging Chinese artists whose work contemplates their unique connection to the greater cultural narratives and phenomena of China—from the emergence of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, to the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s and 70s, to the country’s social and economic transformations in the last two decades. Through poetic reenactment, parodic performance, or punky intervention, featured artists Tao Hui, Hao Jingban, Yang Luzi, Yao Qingmei, Li Ran, Liu Yefu, Zhou Yan (MFA 2015), Jiū Society, among others, piece together fragmented individual and collective histories to make new meaning from the past.
2012–18, various artists, China/Monaco/Japan/USA, multiple formats, ca 60 minutes followed by discussion with curator Nicky Ni and Jennifer Lee, Assistant Professor in Art History, Theory, and Criticism
Nicky Ni and Jennifer Lee in person
Nicky Ni is the curatorial assistant for Conversations at the Edge and a Master’s candidate in Art History, Theory, and Criticism and Arts Administration and Policy at SAIC. She also works at SAIC’s Video Data Bank as a graduate distribution assistant. Previously, she has assisted with the exhibitions, Zhang Peili: Record. Repeat. (2017) and Whistler and Russel: Linked Visions (2015) at the Art Institute of Chicago. Ni has worked at the Hyde Park Art Center and the Philadelphia Museum of Art and was a graduate curatorial fellow at SAIC’s Sullivan Galleries. She received her Bachelor of Science from Northwestern University.
Jennifer Dorothy Lee received her PhD from New York University in East Asian Studies and her BA from Columbia University in English & Comparative Literature. Currently she is Assistant Professor of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her recent work addresses the politics of conceiving Asia in social theory and art criticism, with attention to the ideological unevenness of configuring China in global-contemporary context. Her first book manuscript, Anxiety Aesthetics: Maoism in Postsocialist China, explores the mutual constitutions of Maoism and modernism in China’s revolutionary aftermath of the late 1970s.