First major UK exhibition of outdoor sculpture by contemporary artists from greater China opens

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First major UK exhibition of outdoor sculpture by contemporary artists from greater China opens
Zhao Yao, A sculpture of thought.

CHICHESTER.- A Beautiful Disorder – the first major exhibition of newly commissioned outdoor sculpture by some of the most important young artists from Greater China, opened on Sunday at the Cass Sculpture Foundation.

The historical relationship between English and Chinese landscape aesthetics was the starting point and inspiration for the 18 artists featured in A Beautiful Disorder. The title of the exhibition refers to an 18th century term used to describe the ability of the Chinese garden to provoke violent and often opposing sensations through a series of theatrical framing devices, which had a huge effect on English garden culture.

The result however is a series of monumental, site-specific sculptures which respond directly to the Sussex countryside, yet invite the viewer to reflect on China’s past, present and future relationship with the world at large. They provide valuable insight into the state of culture, politics and society in Greater China today, from the perspectives of some of its most dynamic and engaging artists.

Some of the most provocative works include Movement Field, by Xu Zhen (Produced by MadeIn Company), a maze of chalk pathways which replicate protest routes; Identity, by Wang Yuyang, a 6-meter tall installation built by converting Marx’s Capital: Critique of Political Economy – into binary code; and Why do they never take colour photos?, by Song Ta – an enormous grey bust of Chairman Mao, copied from a well-known sculpture, but presented in a painted grey landscape intended to reflect the artist’s hazy relationship with the Great Helmsman.

Cass Sculpture Foundation was established in 1992 by Wilfred and Jeannette Cass. It was conceived as a unique charitable body, profoundly committed to fostering new, as well as established talent. Set within twenty-six acres of West Sussex countryside, the Foundation is composed of exhibition spaces, an educational resource and a commissioning body. After 23 years of exhibiting and commissioning over 400 works and supporting more than 200 artists, CASS is expanding its model to commission pioneering sculpture from international artists.

Participating artists for A Beautiful Disorder: Bi Rongrong, Cao Dan, Cao Fei, Cheng Ran, Cui Jie, Rania Ho, Li Jinghu, Lu Pingyuan, Xu Zhen (Produced by MadeIn Company), Jennifer Wen Ma, Song Ta, Tu Wei-Cheng, Wang Sishun, Wang Wei, Wang Yuyang, Zhang Ruyi, Zheng Bo and Zhao Yao.

Jennifer Wen Ma says: “The creative process is a path of revelations. One has to remain open to what discoveries might be offered and embrace them as they come, and the work will tell you what it needs to be. Cass Sculpture Foundation and its staff have been the perfect partner in the making of Molar. Supportive, collaborative, resourceful, challenging and always open to the possibilities of what could be. The beauty and power of the artwork speak to this spirit. Thank you!”

Cui Jie says: “I'm incredibly grateful for this collaboration with the Cass team, and the process has inspired new ideas in my practice.”

Lu Pingyuan says: “When I visited CASS, I was very intrigued by the way artworks are situated in a park. Some works seem to become part of the surroundings. Inspired by this, I created the story of the “ghost trap,” to engage the readers in another dimension of story reading.”

Wang Sishun says: “The cooperation with Cass Sculpture Foundation is very exciting. It’s my great honour to participate in A Beautiful Disorder. The experience has been unforgettable!”

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