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Book Launch and Writing Workshop

Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum

On Saturday, December 29th, Inside-Out Art Museum will hold a book launch, a public talk and a writing workshop. We are pleased to launch two books, a new catalogue Pang Tao: Dancing Notes from our last retrospective for Pang Tao, and an older book titled Chinese Modernities as Self-conscious Cultural Ventures. Published in 2006, the book was edited by Professor Song Xiaoxia. Director Carol Yinghua Lu will take this opportunity to talk with her. After that, the two speakers will participate as commentators in the writing workshop held later in the afternoon, focusing on the writing of exhibition review. This workshop was co-convened by Art World magazine and the Inside-Out Art Museum, with a total of eight participants. The workshop is open to the public.


13:30 – 14:45

Reflections: “Chinese Modernities as Self-conscious Cultural Ventures”

Speaker: Song Xiaoxia

Moderated by Carol Yinghua Lu 

In 2006, the Central Academy of Fine Arts and the China Cultural Center of the City University of Hong Kong jointly organized an interdisciplinary conference titled “Modernity and the Transformation of Chinese Art in the 20th Century”, inviting a number of famous scholars from not only the field of humanities and social sciences but also many other disciplines to discuss modernity in Chinese from a multidisciplinary view. As the executive organizer, Professor Song Xiaoxia collected the conference’s papers and edited the book Chinese Modernities as Self-conscious Cultural Ventures , which was published by Oxford University Press in Hong Kong in the same year.

With a multidisciplinary approach in discussion, the core issue of the conference was “the modern transformation of Chinese art”. In the introduction of the book, the publisher wrote: “The modern transformation of Chinese art is an interdisciplinary issue with considerable radiation and inclusiveness. It is not solely limited to the research field of Chinese contemporary art history. Its influence also expands to the practice areas; and the problems produced by it may become the driving force for the contemporary academia to rethink and reflect on the traditions and historical experiences of Chinese modernity and the overwhelmed Western-dominated narratives. 

Twelve years after the publication of this book, we invite Professor Song Xiaoxia to the Inside-Out Art Museum to introduce the four themes in Chinese Modernities as Self-conscious Cultural Ventures. Four themes are “Modernity and the Problem Consciousness of China”, “Differences and Contradictions in Modernity”, “Modernity and Academic Autonomy in China”, “Self-consciousness about Modern Transformation: Chinese Experience in Modernity”. Song Xiaoxia will also share her teaching practices about Chinese contemporary art based on a global perspective at the Central Academy of Fine Arts. In our view, analyzing the history of Chinese art and establishing a global vision are all structural issues that related to Chinese modern and contemporary art. It is also an important way for Chinese contemporary art to express itself in a global vision and establishes its own narrative at a global scale.


Book Launch丨Pang Tao: Dancing Notes

15:15 – 17:30

Writing Workshop Series I: Exhibition Review Writing

Initiated by the Inside-Out Art Museum and co-convened with Art World magazine

Participants: Yan Han, Guo Jinxi, Liu Xiyan, Luo Keyi, Qian Mengni, Yang Tiange, Yang Xiaomeng, Yang Yang

Moderators: Su Wei, Luan Zhichao

Commentators: Carol Yinghua Lu, Song Xiaoxia 

On Saturday afternoon, Inside-Out Art Museum will hold the first episode of Writing Workshop: Exhibition Review Writing. In the field of art, writing is a field of practice that is both exaggerated and neglected. The reason for being exaggerated is that people often magnify the power and role of art critics, and even see the writing as being able to magically “turn stone into gold”. At the same time, writers and readers pay too much attention on the functionality of writing and ignore the standards, seriousness and professionalism that it should have as a practice. Inside-Out Art Museum has been committed to the construction of disciplines in the field of art. Initiate this writing workshop allows us to focus at the practice of writing and try to understand, explore, consider, experiment and expand various forms of writing practice.

The Writing Workshop series is initiated by director Carol Yinghua Lu. The first series is jointly convened by the Inside-Out Art Museum and the Art World magazine. Eight writers are invited to talk about exhibition review writing. They are required to submit the most representative exhibition review written by themselves or any good review selected by themselves one week before the workshop. During the workshop, they will do intensive reading on these texts and analyze, comment on them. 

What accompanies the continuous emergence of contemporary art exhibitions is the overproduction of exhibition reviews. In the art world where content is proliferated and text becomes depreciated, it is nearly impossible to become a full-time writer. Most of time, the authors always have other roles like curators or artists instead of being a full-time writer. Exhibition review writing thus has become an auxiliary work, which can be an amateur practice of writing and a way to stay present and gain exposure. As a result, the scarcity of professionalism and the trend of “over-interpreting”, making good exhibition reviews become very rare.

We live in an attention economy in which pictures and videos tend to be more attractive than texts. The production of words is naturally on the weak side; the speed of reading is also accelerating. The rare good ones in exhibition reviews are always fleeting and sinking quickly out of the public horizon. We decide to go against this trend. In the exhibition review writing workshop which eight young writers are going to participate, we will conduct detailed discourse analysis and intensive discussion on those reviews written or selected by them. In addition to the open discussion between participants, we also invite commentators to give comments and suggestions.