Working from China as an International Artist: A Conversation with Zhang Peili

A tri-university workshop for specialists in Chinese cultural studies UBC, SFU and the University of Victoria.

Zhang Peili (b. 1957) is currently associate professor and chair of the Specific Media Studio, School of Inter Media Art at the China Academy of Art, one of China’s most important arts educators, and a leading figure of the Chinese contemporary art scene since the mid-1980s. A pioneer of Chinese video art, Zhang’s work originates from a position that “challenges social mores, rampant development, authoritative politics and cultural values,” while considering themes of the individual, time, loss of innocence, and the meaninglessness of repetitive human activities. His video works are held in the permanent collections of foremost art institutions including the Museum of Modern Art (New York), The Pompidou Art Center (Paris) and the Fukuoka Asian Fine Arts Museum (Japan). He lives and works in Hangzhou, China.

This workshop explores standards of art praxis in China and the international arena, and further considers the question of how the new media works of Zhang Peili, acclaimed in both China and the West, fit into Chinese approaches to art. Have we in the West misunderstood the level of artistic freedom in China? As an artist who exhibits internationally and in China, Zhang Peili will offer his understanding of the major differences between Chinese and Western art practices.

Refreshments will be available.

Organized by the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory and The Center for Chinese Research, UBC. With thanks to the Belkin Art Gallery and Center A, Vancouver Art Gallery.