The Lonely Spirit
Written and Edited by Dai Jinhua and Su Wei
This bilingual publication accompanies the exhibition of the same title,The Lonely Spirit (2018.11.18 – 2019.3.24). It is presented in seven narrative chapters and framed under two periods, the 1990s and the 21st century. The book focuses on the artistic and cultural contexts in China since the 1990s, as well as the narratives of the parties involved and their subsequent reflections. After months of collation, design, and editing, the book includes a collection of relevant research and documentation written by Dai Jinhua, Professor at Peking University, and Su Wei, Senior Curator at the Inside-Out Art Museum.
The book juxtaposes contemporary art with other cultural fields such as theater, documentary, film, internet culture, and literature as well as intellectual debates.It attempts to reveal the collision and negotiation with “mainstream values” in those fields. As co-curator Su Wei puts it, “the radical and dynamic individual creativity,the passion for critical thinking and reinventing,and the vigorous philosophical imagination in the 1980s all transformed into cultural signs of the 1990s which were calm and mundane, avant-garde and rational, rebellious and disoriented.”