A new exhibition in California State University, Northridge’s Art Galleries explores the development of social changes in Chinese culture as seen through the eyes of internationally recognized artists Qiulin Chen and Fen Weng.
“Tales of Our Time” features nearly 40 pieces of major photographic and video art works highlighting the dramatic processes of urbanization and modernization on the Chinese world. The exhibit opens Monday, Aug. 29, and runs through Saturday, Oct. 8, in the galleries, located at the Art and Design Center on North University Drive (Halstead St.) at the northern end of the CSUN campus. This exhibition is free and open to the public.
“I am thrilled to have this opportunity to bring their art to the CSUN campus,” said Northridge assistant professor of art history Meiqin Wang, who also is the curator of the exhibition. “These two artists are quite established and their works have been shown worldwide and collected by major museums and private collectors. More importantly, their art deals with the most pressing reality that is affecting almost everybody in China.”
Wang explained that the artists have taken as their subject the ongoing transformation of Chinese society and the resulting impact on individuals, families, communities, villages, cities, landscapes and skyscapes. Their artwork documents the loss, confusion, struggle, excitement, and aspiration of the Chinese people in their fast-paced new world.
Chen was born in 1975 in the Hubei Province, China. She graduated from Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts in Chongqing and lives and works in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. She is a multimedia artist and has worked with performance, photography, video, installation and sculpture.
“Millions of people are starting another life in another place. Millions of buildings are being erected in a new town,” said Chen. “My hometown has become a construction site; or maybe it is just the smallest epitome of the urbanization process that all cities in China are going through. I am one person that records a small piece of history with my own eyes.”
Weng was born in 1961 in the Hainan Province, China. He graduated from Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts and teaches in the Art College at Hainan University in Haikou, China. Based in Haikou and Beijing, Weng is a multimedia artist who has worked with photography, video and installation.
“A wall is a commonly seen object. You can see the same walls where I live and in any Chinese city,” said Weng. The wall is just like a critical sign, which divides the whole into different parts. Sometimes, I seem to find myself outside the wall although I am just inside it.
The wall impedes my view of what exists outside it, so walls have to be breached in order to experience the outside world.”
Weng will visit and present lectures during the run of the exhibition on campus and at the Cultural Enrichment Coalition, an organization dedicated to the cultural exchange and mutual understanding between the U.S. and China
Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday 12–4 p.m. and Thursdays 12–8 p.m. An artists’ reception is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 9 from 5–7 p.m. at the gallery and a curator talk will take place on Monday, Sept. 12 at 10 a.m. An artist lecture is slated to take place on Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 11 a.m. All events will be held in the gallery.
For more information, visit the Art Galleries website at http://www.csun.edu/artgalleries/ or call the galleries at (818) 677-2226.