Research at Home and Around the World

Experimental Beijing: Contemporary Art Worlds in China’s Capital
Asia
Beijing, China

This project documents the recent explosion of Chinese contemporary art on the international stage. The participants in this zone of cultural encounter include artists and art professionals from around the world who, in repeated encounters in China and abroad, negotiate what counts as Chinese and what counts as art. Experimental Beijing: Contemporary Art Worlds in China’s Capital is an ethnography of worlding: the multiple ways of visualizing the world, and China’s place in it, that artists draw upon in their images and lives. Gender plays a central role in the various worldings—semicolonial, revolutionary, and postsocialist—that have accumulated over the twentieth century and continually resurface in Chinese image making practices. What it means then for Chinese contemporary art to go global demands feminist attention to questions of gender, power, and aesthetic form immanent in the social world of visual production. For more information, please see http://faculty.washington.edu/swelland/research/.